What is a Gummy Smile?
We value nice smiles because, similar to a handshake, smiling is a friendly gesture we use to expose ourselves to our neighbors in mutual vulnerability. We reveal not only our fragile teeth to danger, but a telling look into our lifestyles, habits, and history. However, some smiles unflatteringly show more of the upper gum line than the average person. This condition can by caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, overgrowth of the gums, or an imbalance in the proportions of the upper jaw and teeth.
A gummy smile is not strictly an issue of aesthetics. Potential health issues can arise such speech problems or bite problems. Worse, bacteria can get caught in the excess tissue, leading to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay. This is where a gingivectomy may be necessary.
The Gingivectomy Procedure
A gingivectomy is an operation that transforms the gum line and reduces the risks caused by a gummy smile. A scalpel or laser is used depending on the condition to remove the excess gum tissue followed by treatment of the newly exposed area. Recovery time varies depending on the extent of the procedure and will require an oral hygiene schedule to promote healing and repel infection.
Gingivectomies are not a cure for gum disease. It's important to maintain good oral hygiene and regular follow-up appointments. Contact us today if you want to know what treatment would look like for you or if you have any other questions abut the operation.