Don't Like Your Gummy Smile? The Answer Might Be Found in a Laser

Posted on: 22 April 2016

Healthy gums are vital for healthy teeth, and yet when you smile you probably want your teeth to take pride of place. Prominent gums are not really a problem in terms of the health of your teeth, but it can be a matter of aesthetics. If you have a particularly gummy smile, you have probably learned to live with it. If it's something you wish to change, this is where laser dentistry can help.

How the Procedure Can Help

The procedure might sound unpleasant, but using laser dentistry to amend a gummy smile is regarded as a minor procedure. The laser essentially removes a small portion of your gum tissue, making your teeth appear more prominent. Only a fraction of the gum tissue is removed (mere millimetres), and the end result is a far more prominent smile.

How the Procedure Works

Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth, and the amount of gum tissue to remove will be decided. The location of the osseous crest is determined (which is the connective tissue made from calcium salts that holds your teeth, and indeed all your bones in place). This crest is an indicator of the maximum amount of tissue that can be removed, although in terms of aesthetics, the procedure will probably not remove tissue all the way to the crest. A local anesthetic is applied, and then a cheek and lip extractor is fitted. This is a rubber device that (as the name would suggest) holds your cheeks and lips out of the way. A low intensity laser is then applied to the tissue. The heat of the laser cauterizes the tissue as it works, which results in very little blood and swelling.

After the Procedure

Given the fact that this is a "clean" procedure that does not require stitches, post-procedure healing time is minimal. Your dentist will schedule a post-procedure examination to ensure that the tissue has healed and that the newly exposed sections of teeth are healthy. Given that sections of these teeth were previously covered by gum tissue, your teeth might feel sensitive in the days after the procedure. This will pass, but it can be advisable to avoid excessively hot or cold food for a few days after the procedure. Once all healing has been completed, you might also wish to undergo teeth whitening. This is only necessary if the newly exposed sections of teeth are different to the crowns of the teeth, meaning you might want uniformity of colour.

For more information, talk to a laser dentist.