Everybody wants that shiny white Hollywood smile, and many of us spend thousands of dollars having our teeth whitened, repaired and realigned for a brighter, whiter smile. However, the gums that hold our teeth in place are just as important to a beautiful smile as the teeth themselves, and if your gums are unusually large, they can throw off the appearance of even the most well-cared-for set of pearly whites.
If your gums aren't everything you want them to be, however, there is a way to improve their looks. Gum contouring is a relatively new addition to the field of cosmetic dentistry that is becoming more popular every year, and a good cosmetic dentist can use this procedure to improve both the health and appearance of your gums and teeth.
What is gum contouring, and why is it performed?
Receding gums are a common and widely known dental problem, but the opposite problem is far less well known. The proper term for gums that cover too much of the surface of your teeth is gingival hyperplasia, and this condition can have a number of causes. Some cases occur as a side effect of anti-seizure or immunosuppressant medication use, while other people see their gums permanently enlarged as a result of a chronic illness such as Crohn's disease or diabetes. Still other people are simply genetically predisposed to having overly large gums.
Having overly large gums that cover a large portion of your teeth can make your teeth look unusually small and give you a 'gummy' smile. This can diminish the natural beauty of your smile, especially if the hyperplasia is uneven and covers more of some teeth than others. Overly large gums aren't just a cosmetic issue either; in some cases, they can increase the risk of developing tooth decay, halitosis or gum disease.
To correct cases of gingival hyperplasia, cosmetic dentists can shave away the excessive tissue of your gums to reduce their size and expose more of your teeth, a procedure known as gum contouring.
How is gum contouring performed?
If you choose to have gum contouring performed, you will have to choose how it will be performed. Most cosmetic dentists perform gum contouring in one of two ways:
- Laser excision: Dentists who use this method will strip away excessive portions of your gum line using a focused laser beam that effectively removes gum tissue without harming the teeth beneath.
- Scalpel excision: A more traditional approach, cosmetic dentists who use this method will trim away excess tissue using scalpels and other manual dental tools. This method is generally cheaper, and more dentists perform it, but it can take longer and be slightly more painful as the reshaped gums heal.
Whichever method you choose, you should make sure that it is performed by a reputable, experienced cosmetic dentist who has performed gum contouring many times before, as this will ensure the best results and minimise the risks of any complications occurring.Share