Correcting A Gummy Smile With Beautiful Results!

Posted on Sep 06, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

A smile says a lot. A warm, genuine smile sends a message to others of acceptance and joy. A beautiful smile also complements appearance and can relay an impression of confidence, happiness and openness.

As a Periodontist, I treat the soft tissues of the mouth in addition to placing dental implants and treating gum disease. As an expert in oral gum tissues, I have advanced training that enables me to create gum tissue contours to give a natural appearance and provide healthy seals around teeth.

Before & After Of A Gummy Smile

For people who have a ‘gummy smile,’ too much gum line is visible above the upper teeth in a full smile. While this trait does not interfere with the ability to have and maintain a healthy smile, for many, it causes them to ‘hold back’ rather than smile fully. Some people cover their smiles with a hand or try to smile with lips only.

For many with a gummy smile, the deterrents to having it repaired are (1) cost; (2) treatment discomfort; and (3) treatment time. However, in consultations with patients, I explain how modern techniques ensure exceptional comfort and reduce healing time. Often, once the patient is better informed as to what to expect, they are receptive to proceeding.

Gum re-contouring is the procedure to correct a gummy smile, referred to as a ‘gingivectomy.’ It is performed to remove the excess gum tissue that arches over the teeth most visible in a smile.

To begin, we numb the gum tissues and carefully trim the excess. As a Periodontist, I take specific measures to ensure a natural looking arch remains over the teeth while preserving the natural points that ‘dip’ between each tooth.

It’s normal to experience some tenderness or swelling after the procedure, however, most patients do fine by applying an ice pack off and on for the first day. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medications are sufficient, however, we make prescription strength options available to ensure comfort during the healing process.

Healing time depends on each individual and can vary from a few days to a few weeks. For patients who smoke, healing times are longer due to smoking’s drying effect on gum tissues.

Most gingivectomies are followed by crown lengthening procedures that enhance the appearance of the teeth most visible in a smile. Crown lengthening uses porcelain veneers or crowns to give a beautiful, even smile line.

Treatment fees depend on the extent of the condition and whether crowns or veneers will be applied following treatment. In either case, beautiful results can occur, helping the individual who once ‘held back’ to smile confidently and reveal a more outgoing, vibrant personality!

A healthy smile is a benefit to our overall health. An attractive, confident smile is beneficial to our self-image, helping us to feel good from the inside out! Call 828-274-9440 for a consultation to discuss a gingivectomy and what is recommended for your specific need.

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