Treating a Gummy Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry By Dwight D. Peccora, DDS on July 09, 2022

Woman with a big smile.Gums that are too prominent can cause your teeth to appear small. This is the most common cause of a "gummy smile." Many people with gummy smiles are self-conscious about this feature and wish for a procedure that can make the gums look less prominent when smiling or talking. Luckily, gum contouring can do just that.

Gum contouring is available through Fort Bend Dental's office Missouri City, TX, with additional oral cosmetic services provided at our offices in Richmond and Grand Parkway. Read on to learn more about gummy smile treatment and what to expect after having this procedure done.

Prominent Gumlines: What They Are and What Causes Them

Consider the gums as a frame for the teeth. When an individual has excess gum tissue that grows below the normal crown line (the area where the teeth are visible), it causes the teeth to appear too small or out of balance in the mouth. Genetics commonly playing a role in gum contour and the prominence of a person’s gumline. Other causes include use of certain prescription drugs and certain health problems impacting the gums.

Laser Gum Contouring

While traditional gum contouring involved cutting away excess gum tissue with a scalpel, the cosmetic dentists at Fort Bend Dental use an advanced soft tissue laser to provide precision with less pain, a shorter recovery time, and a lower risk of infection.

Before having gum contouring in Missouri City, our doctor will meet with you for an initial consultation to go over the procedure with you, assess your family medical history, and talk with you about the goals and expectations you have for the procedure. The doctor will also perform an examination of your gums and teeth. Any oral health issues must be addressed before the procedure is performed.

The Laser Gum Contouring Procedure

During the procedure, the patient is generally awake, and local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area. The doctor will use a laser to precisely remove excess gum tissue, revealing more of the crown.

While the traditional method requires sutures to be used to hold the gums in place, one of the many benefits of using a laser in the surgery is that it eliminates the need for stitches.

The length of the treatment depends on the amount of contouring that needs to occur, but most patients can expect the procedure to last around one to two hours.

What to Expect During Recovery

As noted, one of the many benefits to laser surgery for gum contouring is reduced recovery time and lower risk of side effects. Most patients experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, which is generally managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

Patients generally eat a soft diet for the first few days after the surgery, and your doctor will provide instructions on how to safely brush your teeth while your gums are recovering. Patients can expect to be fully healed within two months, with many healing within a week or two.

The Results of Gum Contouring

For most patients, the gum tissue does not grow back, making the treatment a permanent one. Your doctor will talk with you about the cleaning and maintenance of your teeth that can help you obtain and maintain the best results.

Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry for a Gummy Smile

If you're ready to speak with an experienced dentist about gummy smile treatment, trust Fort Bend Dental. Contact Fort Bend Dental online or by calling (281) 336-9899 (Missouri City), (281) 336-9971 (Richmond), or (281) 519-3135 (Grand Parkway) to schedule your consultation.

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Fort Bend Dental

Fort Bend Dental has provided Fort Bend County with high-quality dental care for over 30 years. With three convenient locations in Richmond, TX, and Missouri City, TX, to serve you and your family, our services include:

  • General Dentistry
  • Complete Family Dentistry
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Restorative Dentistry

Contact us online or call us at (281) 499-3541 to request an appointment today.

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