Healthy Gums

Periodontal Cosmetic Surgery

Mucogingival surgery, which is a type of plastic surgery that's performed on the gums. It's performed in order to remove any types of deformities that might have grown on your gums and cause you pain and discomfort. There are a few different issues that this can be used to treat. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Gum line that's uneven either from teeth growing in too short or the gum line receding.
  • A "gummy" looking smile.
  • Crowns, implants, bridges, or any separation between teeth.
  • Sunken spots in the gums due to teeth being lost or removed.
  • Exposure of unerupted teeth.

Why Should You Worry About These Problems?

These conditions may sound cosmetic in nature, but they can cause a number of genuine health problems. Gum defects can quickly evolve into full-blown problems, such as bone loss, sensitivity, and sometimes the loss of teeth. There was a time when this type of surgery looked crude and fake. However, recent medical advances have allowed for incredible improvements.

Common Aesthetic Problems

The following are a few examples of some of the common problems with teeth that might be considered "cosmetic":

Excessive Display of the Periodontal Tissue

A "gummy" smile, or too much of the gum line showing when you smile, could have a number of causes. These can be things such as an upper lip that's shorter than average, a long upper jawbone, or even teeth worn down by grinding.

Whatever the cause, you don't have to keep living with this problem. We can work with your dentist and help figure out the cause. Once we do, we can help set up a treatment plan that will work for you.

Gingival Recession

The spot where the gums and the teeth meet is often referred to as the "gum line". When the gum line recedes, it can make teeth appear to be longer than normal. This can cause the teeth to become quite sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. After all, when the gum line recedes, the root of the teeth are exposed. The recession also allows plaque to accumulate much more easily. As the problem advances, teeth can become loose and easily fall out. Without the periodontal tissue keeping it in place, the supporting bone loses its strength.

This can generally be corrected with a simple gum tissue transplant. Placing the tissue over the recession helps the periodontal tissue grow stronger.

Papilla Regeneration

The tissue between the teeth, the interdental papilla, is incredibly delicate. This makes it a difficult area to perform surgery on, and some dentists lack the ability. The small section of the gums that sits between the teeth is practically forgettable. Forgettable, that is, until it's gone. Then the black holes between the teeth become obvious.

Thanks to modern medicine, there have been some amazing advancements since papilla regeneration was discovered. However, it's still an incredibly delicate surgery, often requiring multiple specialists.

Description of the Procedure

A smile that shows off too much of the gums can be unattractive to many. However, this is one of the easier problems to fix. All it takes is a laser, and the gums can be reconstructed. Not only is the procedure over quickly, but the laser tool used seals the tissue as it cuts. This allows the tissue to heal more quickly and comfortably. It only takes one office visit.

How It's Done

The recontouring of the gums is an incredibly safe procedure. First, the periodontal tissue is numbed using anesthetic of some kind. Once the patient reports that their gums are completely numb, the dentist will begin to use a diode laser in order to re-shape the line of the gums. Since the tissue is immediately sealed, the patient won't have to worry about long healing times or discomfort during the healing process.

Technology

As stated, the laser used for this procedure is called a "diode laser". This is similar to other lasers, in that it's a beam of light designed to cut through tissue. Since it's designed for this type of surgery, it won't affect the teeth or any of the bone underneath the gums.

Recovery/Post Op Expectations

Once the procedure has finished, the patient can expect to have tender gums for about one week. The gums are also likely to swell. Ibuprofen and a warm salt water rinse can help reduce these symptoms.

Complications

It's rare that complications arise during periodontal reconstruction surgery. Under extreme circumstances, a patient may experience minor amounts of pain during the process should the anesthetic not be strong enough.

Am I a Candidate?

If you feel your gum line shows too much when you smile, then you may be a candidate for a gum recontouring procedure.