The term "gummy smile" typically refers to noticeable gum tissue when a person smiles or speaks. If you are bothered by what is referred to as a "gummy smile", you might be a good candidate for a procedure known as dental laser gum treatment. This procedure, also referred to as laser periodontal therapy or laser gum contouring, may remove the excessive amount of gum tissue in your mouth,. It is typically performed by a dentist or periodontist. To learn if this treatment is right for you, your dentist or periodontist must first determine the cause of your gummy smile by performing a through examination of your mouth, teeth and gums.
Why Do You Have a Gummy Smile?
The cause of a gummy smile may be due to an abnormal eruption of your adult teeth. This may have caused some of the gum tissue to overlap your upper teeth. Another reason for the appearance of a gummy smile could be overactive facial muscles, primarily those of the upper lip. When this occurs, the lip may be pulled upwards, showing too much gum tissue. Lastly, the size and shape of your teeth may cause your smile to appear excessively "gummy".
In any case, your dentist will determine if laser gum treatment is a good option to correct the issue. He or she will decide after an examination and usually after taking a set of dental x-rays. This digital images may show the position of your jawbone as well as the roots of your teeth. This will let your dentist learn how much of your gum line needs to be reshaped through the laser procedure.
Why Do Some Patients Prefer This Method of Treatment?
Quite simply, laser periodontal therapy produces a minimal amount of discomfort compared to traditional surgical methods. Unlike traditional gum surgery, the gums will not require suturing, as the cut tissue and blood vessels in the mouth will be cauterized and sealed by the laser itself. For many patients, this means only minor discomfort, little to no bleeding and minimal swelling. If you are one who experiences anxiety when undergoing dental work, this option might make you more comfortable.
What Does This Procedure Entail?
Before the laser is placed in your mouth, your periodontist will numb your gums and mouth by administering a local anesthetic. Let him or her know when your mouth feels completely numb. The dental diode laser will safely and gently remove excess gum tissue to contour the gum line. For many individuals, one session is all that is required. However, in some cases, the patient may require more than one laser treatment.
What Is the Recovery Period Like?
You may experience some tenderness, soreness or minimal swelling that may last for a few days or so after laser gum therapy. It's a good idea to consume soft foods for a few days and avoid sharp, crunchy foods that may irritate your sensitive gums during healing. If you experience discomfort, your periodontist or dentist, such as Michael C. Cordora DDS, PLLC, may advise you to take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.