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Cosmetic Dentistry for a Gummy Smile

Short, stubby-looking teeth can negatively affect a smile’s appearance. With cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel remove and reshape overgrown gum tissue to reveal more tooth enamel. This procedure creates beautiful teeth and proportional, esthetically pleasing smiles.

Located in Queens, NY, Astoria Dental Group offers a full scope of a full scope of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including porcelain veneers, bonding, teeth whitening, and gum reshaping. We use laser dentistry for minimally-invasive periodontal procedures, including lifts to treat gummy smiles.

What Causes Gummy Smiles?

Called excessive gingival display, a gummy smile is present if more than 4mm of gum tissue is seen when the person smiles. Teeth can look short, stubby, and rather juvenile. About 17% of women and 4% of men have this treatable condition.

Common causes of gummy smiles include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Poor oral health
  • Certain medications

In addition, a condition called altered passive tooth eruption, or APE, contributes to gum tissue looking overgrown on teeth with improper development.

Will a Gummy Smile Fix Itself?

A gummy smile won’t go away over time. If you want your teeth to appear longer and more attractive, you’ll need cosmetic dentistry and possibly periodontal surgery. We can discuss the ideal option for your needs during a consultation at our Queens, NY, practice.

Laser Periodontal Procedure

Laser gum surgery, used in cosmetic dentistry and periodontics, uses a beam of intense light to trim away gum tissue to precise, predetermined specifications.

In most cases, 10 front teeth show when a person smiles. These are the teeth your cosmetic dentist will focus on for gum reshaping. The procedure generally takes about two hours, and the patient is kept comfortable with nitrous oxide and local anesthesia.

The Benefits of Laser Gum Surgery

Soft-tissue lasers have transformed gum surgery.

Before laser gum surgery, crown lengthening and gum lifts required the use of a scalpel to cut away gum tissue, followed by sutures to close the incisions. As you might imagine, this technique was very invasive. Trauma and bleeding led to long, painful recoveries.

The laser seals gum tissue as it cuts. There is far less bleeding during the procedure, and no sutures are required. Patients usually experience little or no post-operative bleeding and a speedy recovery.

What to Expect Afterward

Since a laser gum lift is minimally invasive, most patients’ mouths completely heal in 10 to 14 days. In the meantime, you need to practice thorough but gentle oral hygiene at home. Avoid eating hard, chewy, or spicy foods during your recovery, because they irritate gum tissue. Turn to softer, blander foods, like soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and ice cream. Gently rinse your mouth after eating.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. A well-hydrated body and mouth will heal more quickly than one that’s dehydrated. Water also washes away food particles and bacteria to keep the mouth clean during recovery.

Rest helps your body heal as well, so avoid strenuous activity and allow your body time to recover. The more you rest, the faster you’ll heal.

Learn More at a Consultation

Are you ready to learn more about cosmetic dentistry and reshaping your gummy smile? Send us a message online or call (718) 215-0510 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Degel and Dr. Every-Degel.

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