Non-Surgical Correction for Gummy Smiles
We’re recently had a number of patients who came in to have a “gum lift,” or as we say here at ClevelandSmiles, “gum contouring.” Interestingly, many of the patients were teenagers and young adults, most of whom wore braces.
ClevelandSmile’s Gum Lift Patients
Others told us that they had been bothered by a “gummy smile” all their lives and had heard about the procedure we were doing in our office; it appealed to them because they had read that it takes very little time and did not involve “surgery” and a long healing time.
During orthodontic treatment, there is frequently an overgrowth of gum tissue, often due to the difficulty in cleaning around the brackets. Following removal of the braces, some of the tissue may resolve, leaving a couple of millimeters that cover the front of the teeth, resulting in a “shorter tooth.” (It’s a little bit like having a window shade pulled a few inches or feet down over a window, making the window look smaller.)
In our office, after taking the appropriate measurements and applying a topical anesthetic, we will use a diode laser to remove this excess tissue so that the tooth or teeth now take on a more natural appearance. A radio wave can also be used in cases that are a little more severe. Following treatment, which takes about fifteen minutes, post-treatment instructions are given, using involving salt-water rinses and Advil/Motrin if needed.
Gummy Smiles With a High Smile Line
Patients will also come to see us with a history of showing too much gum, related to tissue overgrowth and/or a high smile line, where the upper lip goes up very high when they are expressive or smiling. Though sometimes treatment involves bone reshaping, we will often get a great result by just using the methods described above, with a diode laser or radio wave in a relatively easy and pain-free manner.
We’re happy to discuss the options with new or existing patients, so that they can be more confident and proud of their smiles!