From the point of view of cosmetic dentistry, gums influence significantly the overall appearance. Moreover, they have a great impact on the way people smile. In general, the shape of the gums and the gum line are good enough as to require no such treatment. However, there are cases when, due to natural causes or previous medical interventions, the gums are not aligned or, even worse, they cover the teeth in uneven proportions. These realities lead to two different conditions: gummy smiles (that is, a smile displaying too much of the gums) and unaligned gum lines.
Gum lifting and reshaping are dental procedures intended to deal with these conditions; although they are generally considered cosmetic procedures, some dentists perform them to preserve a single gum line to all teeth, thus improving the ability of the patient to brush correctly.
It involves one or two visits at the dental office. During these visits, your dentist will:
- analyze the shape of your gums, paying attention to the way they are distributed from one tooth to another. This helps them better define the natural gum line of the teeth.
- reshape the gums using laser technology. Although this is not the only technical solution, it is the best alternative as far as the easiness of the treatment and the curing times go.
- instruct the patient to use an antiseptic mouth rinse for a few days after the procedure.
- check if the gums are healed (the second visit).
Apart from basic cosmetic dentistry, gum lifting is also used as a secondary procedure when applying veneers. There are cases when the gums don’t look particularly unaesthetic, but they still need to be realigned in order to make room for veneers. In this situation, your doctor will point you out how to deal with your particular condition.
Although the procedure is not uncomfortable in itself (your doctor numbs the gums before he or she starts), there are a few things which may require attention on your part:
- Sometimes, a mild antiseptic solution may not be enough, and your dentist may prescribe you something more powerful. However, being applied topically, such drugs have immediate effect.
- You may feel a slight sensation of discomfort (especially if the area of gums removed has been significant or if the gum has been thick). In this case, painkillers will solve the issue.
Depending on your condition, your dentist may advise you to press the gums in their place a few times a day after the procedure, as they sometimes tend to cover more of the teeth during the healing process.