Transforming Gummy Smiles with Gum Contouring Surgery
What is Gum Surgery?
A gum lift is sometimes confused with a crown lengthening, which is a different procedure that involves removing both bone & gum tissue. Gum lifts only remove gum tissue. Gum lifts have become more attractive to patients thanks to the latest advances. Modern laser technology has made it so gum lifts are faster, nearly painless & require much less recovery time. In the past, gum lifts were done by making incisions & sometimes using sutures. Today, most dentists use a dental technology called a soft tissue laser to gently remove gum tissue. The laser cauterizes blood vessels (burns them closed) as it removes tissue, leading to less bleeding, less swelling & faster healing times.
The gum lift is sometimes done in combination with other cosmetic procedures as part of a smile makeover, for example, following orthodontic treatment (braces). Other ways of lengthening teeth include veneers or bonding, both of which might be considered instead of or in combination with a gum lift. If you’ve been told you have a gummy smile or small teeth, a gum lift may be an option to improve the appearance of your smile.
Gum lifts do not treat a disease. There are several other types of gum surgery associated with periodontitis (advanced gum disease) that may end up having a cosmetic result but are completed for health reasons.
Gum Disease Treatment
If you have severe gum disease, your dentist will go over what procedures are best for your case & what minimally invasive options are best for you. Just remember that the longer you wait to talk to your dentist & schedule an appointment, the more surgery will be required & in some cases, disease can spread beyond the mouth & cause the need for serious procedures done elsewhere in the body.
Minor gum surgery can also be required in order to access teeth either completely covered by the gums or to access areas of the tooth that are covered by gums. Small cuts are made in order to access these areas & anesthesia & sedation dentistry are available to minimize or even eliminate pain. One common need for gum surgery in these cases is wisdom tooth extraction, which can be performed before the tooth has broken through the gum line.