More goes into a perfect smile than the whiteness and straightness of one's teeth. If you feel like your gums are longer or more prominent than other people, you might feel like your smile is less than its best. Thankfully, there is a way to change the look of your gums without resorting to a scalpel. Read on to learn more about why you have long gums and what you can do about them if they bother you.
Longer Gums Aren't Your Fault
The gums are a vital part of keeping your teeth healthy, delivering blood and acting as a barrier, keeping bacteria and debris away from the more vulnerable part of the teeth. However, you don't need your entire tooth covered by your gums, as most of your tooth is enclosed by tough enamel which does the job of protecting your teeth.
The length of your gums is primarily up to genetics. While gum disease can potentially make your gums recede and appear shorter, if you have long-looking gums, you were probably born with them and probably know family members who have them, too.
Laser Gum Resculpting
In the old days, the only way to shorten gums professionally was to undergo surgery. Today, patients who are unhappy with the length of their gums can talk to their dentists about laser gum resculpting.
As the name implies, laser gum resculpting uses a laser to carefully etch away excess gum tissue and leave you with a new, gleaming smile with more exposed tooth surface. The procedure is done on a same-day basis with no hospitalization or general anesthesia required, so it fits into busy schedules easily.
What to Expect
If you want laser gum resculpting, your first step is to visit a dentist for an exam. Your dentist will clean and examine your teeth and gums to make sure that you're in good oral health. If everything looks okay, you and your dentist will work out a treatment plan for laser gum resculpting. Your dentist will use a mirror and a gums-safe pen to indicate where they would like to create the cut.
Once the two of you have decided on a plan, the process will get underway. Your dentist will numb your gums with an injection of Novocaine and begin the process. You'll be given a pair of protective goggles to keep your eyes from being damaged by the laser. Then, your dentist will carefully use the laser to slice away the excess gum tissue. Lasers cauterize tissue as they cut, so no stitches or sutures will be required.
Once the whole process is done, your gums will look much shorter and your teeth more prominent. You may experience some sensitivity for a few days as your gums heal, but overall, the procedure is nearly painless and will provide you with the smile you're yearning for.
If you have more questions about gum health or resculpting, talk to dentists at offices like Family 1st Dental.