If your smile shows uneven or excess gum tissue, you have what is known as a ‘gummy’ smile. Studies show that nearly 10% of individuals between 20 and 30 years of age have gummy smiles and this issue is more common in women.
In this article, our dental experts at Jon H. Ko, DDS, in Pleasanton, California, explain how to achieve that perfect smile you’ve always wanted through gum contouring.
In most cases, a normally proportional smile is considered to be one that shows less than two millimeters of gum tissue above the top teeth. A gummy smile is when there is an excessive gingival display of more than 3 millimeters.
Several factors contribute to a gummy smile. These include extra gingival display due to gingival hypertrophy or gingivitis, a hyperactive lip, certain medications, genetically smaller teeth, or upper jaw overgrowth.
Gum contouring, also known as gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is a standard treatment for correcting a gummy smile. It is performed by a cosmetic dentist or a periodontist.
Since gingivectomy is a permanent procedure, your dentist will first assess your medical history. In case you have any active oral diseases, they will need to be treated before your gum recontouring procedure.
Your dentist will take an X-ray to see if you have sufficient tooth height. Reducing the gum tissue without proper tooth height may cause your teeth to weaken.
Once your candidacy has been determined, your dentist will numb the area to be worked on. They will then use a laser to shape the gumline and seal the tissue to create an even shape. In case there is gum recession, the dentist may do a tissue graft to help close the exposed teeth surface.
Aesthetically, gum contouring helps you achieve your smile goals. You get a more even and straighter smile.
For your oral health, it prevents excessive gum tissue from trapping food particles that may be difficult to clean when brushing. When left untreated, this may lead to tooth decay or gingivitis and ultimately tooth loss. Gum contouring helps treat these gingival pockets reducing the risk of oral problems.
To learn more about how gum contouring can help you get rid of a gummy smile, contact John H. Ko, DDS, at 5720 Stoneridge Mall Rd #200, Pleasanton, CA 94588, or call (925) 847-8790 to schedule an appointment.