A Guide to Gummy Smiles

Some people look at themselves in the mirror and cannot see beyond their smile. After all, your smile is one of your most important attributes. It makes your attractive to other people, warm, welcoming and friendly. Your smile can open a conversation as well as close a business deal. It can make people feel comfortable around, respond to you and get to know you.

So when there is something you are not happy about with your smile, it is sometimes not so easy just to ignore it. It can affect your confidence and your self-esteem and, if you don’t smile so freely, it can take longer for people to warm to you.

For these reasons, cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular. Many of the techniques being introduced into the UK have been practiced successfully in the United States for many years. Now, as more and more people in the UK begin to recognise how important their smile is, more and more dentists are offering cosmetic treatments to a wider range of patients.

One issue that many people have with the quality of their smile is that they are too ‘gummy’. Gummy? Yes, that’s the technical word for it. Some people just show a lot of gum when they smile. It is not due to any medical condition and nor is it detrimental to the long-term health of your teeth or gums. The sole reason for having treatment for a gummy smile is for cosmetic improvement.

If you mention the phrase ‘cosmetic dental work’ to most people, they immediately start to think of Hollywood, celebrities, and very expensive treatments that people who live in the real world cannot afford. But let’s just hold on a minute. Not all cosmetic improvements have to cost a small fortune and a gummy smile is one of those cases where an improvement can be made at a much more affordable cost.

The most popular treatment for a gummy smile is called gum contouring. Your dentist will use a special laser to trim and shape your gums into the perfect smile. It is a fairly straightforward process done under local anaesthetic. It’s also made much easier by the fact that the laser naturally seals up the wounds it makes as the gums are cut away. Therefore, there is no need for any messy stitches which increase the healing time.

Gum contouring is really only suitable for cases where the gums need to be trimmed and shaped lightly. In cases where the cosmetic work needs to produce a greater effect, a different surgical procedure may be required. This is a procedure known as crown lengthening, during which the gums are re-shaped, the cut away from the tooth and replaced in the optimum position. Stitches will be required to hold the gums into their new positions, so the healing time is longer for this procedure. Often, after a couple of months, you may return to your dentist when the gums have healed completely to have them slightly re-shaped again, so that you acquire the perfect solution.

For many patients interested in improving the aesthetics of their smile, gum contouring is only one part of the solution. As a treatment, it often forms part of a broader plan. This plan may, for example, also include orthodontic work to straighten a crooked smile. Alternatively, it may also include veneers or whitening to make your teeth gleam – after all, now the gums have been trimmed then the focus really will be on your pearly whites!

Many dental practices now offer finance solutions that enable patients to afford the cosmetic work they need to improve the quality of their smile. These payment plans can be especially useful if you are considering a long-term cosmetic plan which will alter your smile over a long period of time. This can involve several visits to your dentist.