Beautiful teeth can be otherwise hidden by an uneven gum line, detracting from your overall smile. With a gum contouring procedure, a high or low gum line can be evened out, promoting a more natural and balanced look. Although the tool of choice for reshaping gums used to be a scalpel, dental lasers can now be used with added benefits for the patient. If you believe your gum line does not accurately reveal the smile you deserve, consider this effective cosmetic treatment offered by Boston dentist James M. Stein.
What Is Laser Gum Contouring?
Some patients may have an unnaturally high or low gum line, which they perceive as aesthetically unappealing. Uneven gums can be caused by a variety of sources, including medications, periodontal disease, tobacco use, abnormal tooth eruption, or orthodontics. However, a low gum line resulting in a “gummy” smile is most often a matter of genetics.
To adjust the ratio between someone’s gums and exposed teeth, a contouring procedure can remove excess gum tissue or add on to existing tissue. Using a dental laser, a cosmetic dentist can reshape the gum line with little bleeding or risk. The results are permanent, and the procedure only takes one to two hours.
The Contouring Procedure
By consulting your dentist, you will discuss your desired results and expectations. You will be shown where your new gum line will appear, allowing you to visualize your new look prior to treatment. When it is time for your gums to be reshaped, a local anesthetic will be administered to reduce, if not eliminate, discomfort. The exact procedure will then depend on whether your gums are being reduced or extended:
- Reducing the gum line: A diode laser will be used to precisely form a new gum line, trimming your gums back to reveal a greater portion of your teeth. The shape of your gums will look completely natural, and often results in a more youthful look for patients.
- Extending the gum line: If your teeth appear too long due to receding gums, tissue from other areas of your gums may be grafted onto the gum line, extending it.
Although the procedures may differ, they can both immediately and permanently improve your smile within one painless office visit.
Recovery after Laser Gum Contouring
After the procedure, you may experience swollen or sore gums for a few days, usually fading within the first week. Although nearly all normal activities may be resumed within a day, you should initially avoid eating anything that may irritate your gums, such spicy foods, extreme temperatures, or small particles like seeds. It’s also recommended to brush and floss carefully to let the gums heal.
Benefits of Gum Contouring
Patients can gain any of the following benefits from laser gum contouring, depending on their procedure:
- A more even gum line: Whether you are reducing or extending your gums, laser contouring can help you achieve a more uniform gum line, and thus, more attractive teeth.
- Increased confidence: Never worry about opening your mouth again, knowing that your teeth and gums are exactly as you’d like them to look.
- Fight gum disease: Gingivitis and periodontitis can recede your gums, potentially leading to loose teeth. You can counter a receding gum line through a gum graft, helping you fight the negative effects of progressive gum disease.
- Complement your restorative dental work: If you are receiving restorative dental work such as dental crowns or dental veneers, a few small adjustments to your gums may help them appear more natural.
Considering Laser Gum Contouring?
If you have ever wished your gums could be altered, you may be a great candidate for one our laser reshaping techniques. To learn more about this procedure and our other cosmetic dentistry services, contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. James M. Stein.