closeup of a woman looking in a mirror, inspecting her gumsBeing proud to show off your smile is important. That’s why with cosmetic dentistry, you can achieve straight, pearly white teeth that are without damage and adequately shaped. There are various cosmetic procedures you can choose from, and one such procedure is gum contouring.

Gum contouring is for people who have a “gummy smile.” This is when excess gum tissue covers your teeth and makes them look short or worn down. Excess gum tissue doesn’t grow evenly, so it can make your smile look crooked, even if you’ve just had orthodontics!

If you’re thinking about enhancing your smile with gum contouring in St. Louis, read below to find answers to your questions.

You Just Have Small Teeth

It is possible that you “just have small teeth,” but we can’t know for sure unless you come in for a consultation and exam. Excess gum tissue can make your teeth look small, but there are other reasons why you might have tiny teeth, too. For example, if you’re a chronic teeth grinder, you may have ground your teeth down. Genetics also plays a role in the length of your teeth and gums.

Gum disease can also make your teeth appear shorter for a time because your gums are inflamed and taking up more room. However, this doesn’t last long because your gums will start to recede and cause other problems.

After an exam of your teeth, gums, and mouth, we’ll talk about your options. If we find that you have excess gum tissue, we’ll move forward with the contouring. If you find that your teeth are short, we have other options like dental veneers that give you full-length teeth.

Gum Contouring is Unnecessary

Gum contouring is traditionally a cosmetic procedure, but that doesn’t make it unnecessary. Studies show links between teeth and mental health—poor oral health links to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. While having a gummy smile doesn’t mean your oral health is poor, poor oral health is reflected in the appearance of our smiles and makes us want to smile less, hurting our confidence and self-esteem. The act of smiling makes us happier by releasing endorphins and reducing stress. Our smile plays a role in our interpersonal relationships, too. When you aren’t satisfied with your smile, you tend to hide it, and people might get the wrong impression of you.

So, while reducing a gummy smile may not be medically necessary, having a smile you love to show off can aid your mental health and relationships.

Dentists Use a Scalpel to Contour Gums

Some dentists use a scalpel to contour gums, but at Smile On Dental Studio, we use a soft tissue laser to perform gum contouring. The procedure doesn’t take long, one to two hours, depending on how much excess gum tissue you have. Your cosmetic dentist in St. Louis will give you sedation to aid your comfort before beginning. Then, he’ll use the laser to remove gum tissue. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll have a little bit of tenderness that doesn’t last long.

After your surgery, we recommend taking the rest of the day and the following day off. You’ll be groggy from the sedation and may want to rest. It could take anywhere from a week to a few weeks for your contouring to heal, but everyone is different. Eat soft foods, be gentle when brushing your teeth, and take over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol as directed by your dentist.

Your Gums Will Grow Back

It’s unlikely that your gums will grow back to cover the top of your teeth again. The human body is very good at healing cuts and damage, but not at growing body parts back. This is good news when it comes to gum contouring. The procedure is permanent, so you won’t have to worry about a gummy smile anymore.

Your Smile Looks Crooked After Braces, But There’s Nothing You Can Do About It

Imagine that you just finished orthodontics, and you look in the mirror and realize that your smile still looks crooked. After all the time, effort, and anticipation spent on your teeth already, it can feel disheartening. But don’t be too sad because in St. Louis, you can have a straight smile with gum contouring.

Sometimes your smile doesn’t appear straight because the gums above it are slanted or crooked. If you’ve had orthodontics and still feel that your smile isn’t straight, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Hill. He’ll examine your gums and give you a smile you’ve been dreaming of.

Your Lips Hide Your Gums. So Gum Contouring Won’t Do Anything For Your Smile

For people with a gummy smile, this is untrue. Most cosmetic dentists agree that the best smiles only show a small amount of gum tissue, and showing more of it is unavoidable when it reaches down too far on your teeth.

Don’t put a limit on how big you can smile. Get gum contouring today by calling (314) 678-7876 or making an appointment online.