There are a variety of reasons why people in the Cedar Park, Texas area may be unhappy with their smiles: stained teeth, crooked teeth, or broken/chipped teeth are some of the typical problems that people want to resolve. But there’s another issue that is all too common: “gummy” smiles. This condition occurs when a person’s gum line extends too far down on the front teeth, making those teeth look small and resulting in a smile that shows too much gum tissue and not enough tooth surface. Fortunately, modern dental technology has provided dentists with a relatively simple way to resolve this problem: laser gum contouring. If you have a gummy smile and are considering this procedure, you’ve come to the right place! This article provides helpful information about the process and answers the question that many patients have: is gum contouring permanent?
Reasons for a “Gummy” Smile
Is Laser Gum Contouring Right for You?
The Procedure Involved in Laser Gum Contouring
You may be surprised to learn that changing the shape of your gums is a relatively easy procedure – one that is not only quick, but also easy to recover from. It wasn’t always that way. Before the advent of lasers, gum contouring involved cutting away a portion of unwanted gum tissue with a scalpel, suturing up the wounds, then waiting an extended period of time for those wounds to heal. Fortunately, lasers have changed all that. Now, the procedure for gum contouring is much easier, not as invasive, and involves a shorter recovery than it did at one time.
The first step in the procedure involves your dentist administering local anesthesia and, if necessary, some form of sedation therapy as well. Most dentists offer patients a variety of sedation methods to allow them to feel more relaxed and at ease while undergoing a procedure. After the anesthesia and sedation take effect, your dentist will begin to gently trim away excess gum tissue using a laser specially designed for this purpose. The laser not only removes unwanted gum tissue, it also cauterizes the wound at the same time. This minimizes bleeding during the procedure, and helps to promote faster healing afterwards. Once the process is complete, you may experience some swelling of the gum tissue, as well as a certain amount of tenderness. But your gums should be completely healed within a few short weeks after the gum contouring procedure.
Is Gum Contouring Permanent?
Recovering from Laser Gum Contouring
As is always the case with virtually any kind of surgery, taking care of yourself at home afterward is a vital part of the process. On the same day as your surgery, after the procedure is complete, your dentist will probably recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day. While it’s usually okay to resume normal activities the day after the procedure, you should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a few days afterward. It’s normal to experience some amount of gum inflammation and minor pain. While most dentists will simply recommend that you take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory/pain reliever, you should call your dentist if you feel that the OTC product isn’t adequate.
Keeping the surgical site clean and preventing infection are always high priorities after surgery. The same holds true for laser gum contouring. Avoid brushing or flossing at the surgical site immediately after the procedure, but you can rinse your mouth out with a combination of 1 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of water with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Use this rinse several times a day to keep your mouth clean and infection-free. You can resume your normal oral hygiene routine the day after the procedure, but avoid brushing and flossing at the surgery site.
Your dentist will likely recommend a special diet for the first few days after the procedure as well. You should stay with soft foods only. Avoid spicy foods and anything that may break apart into small pieces that can get lodged into the surgical site (such as nuts and seeds, for example).
Find Out More About Laser Gum Contouring
If you’re wondering, “Is gum contouring permanent?” we have good news. The answer is yes, it is! Once you undergo this simple procedure, you can enjoy a more attractive smile. Better still, the procedure itself is not particularly invasive, and thanks to the laser technology used in gum contouring, you’ll experience very little bleeding during the procedure and a much shorter recovery time afterwards. In fact, your gums should be completely healed within a few short weeks. To find out more about laser gum contouring, and to find out if you’re a good candidate for this remarkable procedure, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment.