Cosmetic Gum Surgery - Are You a Good Candidate?

When you start to lose gum tissue around your front teeth, your teeth can appear larger and unattractive. Cosmetic dentistry solutions such as veneers, crowns and bonding treatments aren’t capable of hiding a receding gum line, but cosmetic gum surgery can help.
This innovative periodontal plastic surgery procedure is designed to correct gum deformities and help you achieve a more attractive, beautiful smile. Here’s a close look at how cosmetic gum surgery works, and whether you may be a good candidate for the procedure:

How Cosmetic Gum Surgery Works

Gum surgery is typically performed by a periodontist and may be performed in conjunction with other procedures to improve the quality of your smile. Gum surgery procedures are designed to reshape and restore the gum tissue around the teeth using innovative techniques including soft tissue grafting, gingivoplasty and gingival flap surgery.
In situations where there is excessive gum tissue that creates a “gummy smile”, the dentist will remove some of the gum tissue to expose more of the tooth’s structure.
Gingivectomy is the most common type of gum surgery performed, and was first developed to treat periodontal disease. In this procedure, gum tissue is removed to reduce the negative effects of having gaps or pockets in the teeth, or when the excessive gum tissue has made it difficult to keep the teeth clean. Excessive growth of gum tissue can occur because of certain medications, or it can be genetic.
Both gingivectomies and gingivoplasties are performed with scalpels, but can also be done with electrosurgery or laser units. A set of angled blades are used to get around the teeth and the dentist gently cuts and removes excessive gum tissue while reshaping the gums. A soft periodontal dressing is typically applied to protect the gums for several days after the procedure.

Best Candidates for Cosmetic Gum Surgery

You may be a good candidate for cosmetic gum surgery if you have the following problems with your teeth or gums:
  • An uneven gum line
  • Gum loss
  • Missing teeth
  • Dark or black areas between bridges
  • Implants
  • Crowns
  • Sensitive teeth

Types of Cosmetic Gum Surgery Procedures

There are two main types of cosmetic gum surgery procedures and your dentist can recommend an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. The two types of procedures are excessive gingival display, and gum recession. Excessive gingival display, also known as a “gummy smile”, is ofteh the result of teeth grinding or having a longer than usual upper jawbone. In this case, the teeth appear to be every small and the gums appear larger than normal.
In a case of gum recession, or a “long tooth smile”, the teeth appear much larger than normal and may be the result of tooth loss or root sensitivity. Gum recontouring procedures in this situation can help create a more balanced appearance.
Learn more about cosmetic gum contouring in our in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dentist in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a smile makeover with this innovative procedure.