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Get Rid of That Gummy Smile



Many people have what is considered a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when the gums occupy a larger area of the teeth than desired. The result is the visible presence of the gums while a person smiles. There is no medical danger posed by a gummy smile although it does cause self-esteem issues in some people. Several dental procedures are available that will modify the gum line and expose more of the underlying enamel. These procedures are purely cosmetic and sometimes have to be repeated if the periodontal tissue starts to grow back. There are three primary ways to change the gum line.


The simplest way to change the shape and appearance of the gum line is through surgery. The patient is normally given a local anesthetic directly into the area that will be changed. The tissue at the base of the teeth is then progressively removed with a scalpel until the correct amount of the underlying tooth is exposed. The process is usually painless and does not produce a large amount of bleeding. The gums do not require sutures after the procedure. Recovery time is anywhere between two and three weeks depending on the health of the gums and the patient.


Dental lasers have been used for a number of different procedures for many years. They are safe, predictable, and can provide the dentist with very precise control over the area that is being removed. Performing gum reduction with a laser starts with a local anesthetic. The laser is used to vaporize the periodontal tissue in progressive layers. The process can take some time. Certain lasers actually prevent any bleeding during the procedure. The tooth that is revealed when the gum tissue is removed is frequently sculpted by the laser in order to create a consistent texture and color across the entire tooth. Recovery time is anywhere from one week to two weeks.


The use of radiosurgery for gum reduction stems from older procedures where radio waves were used to eliminate pockets of bacteria that caused gum disease. Radiosurgery involves using a device that is similar to a laser. The device emits focused radio waves instead of light. These waves can be used to destroy small portions of the gum tissue until the correct shape has been achieved. Radiosurgery helps to prevent inflammation in the gums and reduces recovery times after the procedure.

Candidates For Gum Reduction

A dentist will need to assess an individual to be certain that gum reduction surgery is an appropriate solution. There are certain problems such as gum disease that can make the procedure dangerous, painful, or ineffective. The best candidates for gum reduction will have healthy gums and no immediate problems with the teeth in the area.