We live during a time where there is more pressure to conform to a certain ‘standard’ of attractiveness than ever before. However, it is not only our shape that we may feel needs to be addressed in order to achieve this desirable appearance, but also many other aspects of the way that we look – including our teeth and smile. Being unhappy with one of our features, however small, can have a catastrophic effect on our emotional wellbeing. It is easy to become fixated on this one aspect of our body, particularly if, as is the case with our teeth, it is very difficult to hide. Loss of confidence and self-esteem, low mood, anxiety and depression have all been shown to affect a person who feels embarrassed by their smile.
The gums and gum line
Many people state that their teeth are one of the areas of their appearance that they would most like to change. One commonly-cited problem is an uneven gum line. The gums are often taken for granted, but they have a very important job in our dental health, sealing in the tooth roots and helping to hold our teeth in place. However, not everyone has been born with a naturally even gum line and some people find that the soft, pink, fleshy tissue appears to sit higher on at least one of their teeth. This can cause that tooth to look shorter than the others, even if it is the same height. This is because there is less enamel visible.
A high gum level on one tooth is nothing to be concerned about, and in face quite normal, however, for someone who is self-conscious about their smile it can be a flaw that they just can’t get over. Fortunately, it is now possible to alter virtually any aspect of a smile, thanks to the ever-evolving treatments and procedures that are now available as cosmetic dentistry. One increasingly sought-after cosmetic dentistry treatment that can help address issues with the appearance of the gums is known as gum contouring.
What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure that enables our cosmetic dentist to sculpt and reshape the gum tissue to restore the natural proportions of your teeth. In the case of patients who have one or more teeth where the gum sits high on the tooth, this can be performed solely on those areas affected. It is carried out under local anesthetic, and the tissues can heal in just a few hours. Gum contouring is recommended for those patients who only require a few millimeters of soft tissue to be removed and reshaped. However, if you have considerably more gum tissue to be removed, our dentist may recommend you for a procedure known as a gum lift.
What is a gum lift?
Also known as a gingivectomy, a gum lift is designed to provide more drastic reshaping of the gum tissue on those teeth where there is approximately 4/5mm or more than needs to be removed. In most instances, a gum lift is performed by laser, reducing pain, post-operative complications and healing time.
The use of dental veneers
Gum sculpting procedures are usually performed alongside fitting the patient with a veneer for the affected tooth. This is because the gum, which is live soft tissue, is likely to overgrow again without one. The process to receive a veneer is fairly straightforward and involves filing down a little of the natural enamel of your tooth, before fixing a thin, shell-like covering over the top. Each veneer is custom-designed to fit perfectly to your tooth and created in a shade that ensures that the veneer matches the color of your existing teeth so is incredibly discreet.
If you would like to find out more about lowering the gum on one or more of your teeth, contact us and arrange a consultation for a gum sculpting procedure with our experienced dental team.