In this day and age where people are often judged for their appearances and the way they present themselves, it is not uncommon for people young and old to seek out cosmetic procedures in order to improve their looks.
Most people are aware of teeth whitening or orthodontics (braces, Invisalign) to correct their smiles, but one lesser known category of cosmetic dental procedures is correcting “gummy smiles”, or gummy smile surgery.
What a “Gummy Smile” is
A gummy smile refers to the appearance of showing a lot or too much gum when smiling. This could occur if you have a naturally occurring high upper lip line or have had gum disease which causes swollen or large gums.
While many people undergo surgeries or procedures for cosmetic reasons such as Botox injections, lip fillers or face lifts, but have no idea that gummy smile surgery is also an option.
While the procedure is often not necessarily a compulsory one which affects a person’s health, it should be considered if one is extremely self-conscious about their appearance, or more specifically their (gummy) smile.
How Do Different Gummy Smile Treatments Compare?
There are a few options to correct a gummy smile. One option is Gingivectomy or Gingivoplasty. Gingivectomy is a procedure where your periodontist trims and removes diseased gum tissue if you have gum disease.
If you have certain types of severe gum conditions, your periodontist might even encourage you to undergo the procedure for the sake of your gum health.
Gum Reshaping (Gingivoplasty Gummy Smile Surgery)
On the other hand, Gingivoplasty is a gummy smile treatment which involves reshaping your gums for cosmetic purposes to improve appearance. During the procedure, the periodontist applies or injects local anaesthesia, and uses a laser or scalpel to remove excess or unwanted gum tissue, thus correcting your gummy smile and achieving a straighter and more consistent gum line (Colgate, n.d.).
While you will achieve a better looking smile, you will also get healthier gums that are easier to clean as it will be easier for your toothbrush to reach otherwise hard-to-reach gaps between your teeth (Stone, n.d.).
Crown Lengthening (Gummy Smile Treatment)
An alternative option for gummy smile treatment is crown lengthening, which lengthens your teeth permanently.
This is done by contouring gum and bone tissue to expose more of a tooth’s surface, and possibly fit dental crowns over the natural teeth if needed. This is an outpatient procedure that only involves local anaesthesia, and usually takes only an hour to complete.
Recovery from Gummy Smile Surgery
After local anaesthesia wears off after a gummy smile surgery, it is normal to feel some discomfort or pain where the procedure was done. You will likely be prescribed pain killers and mouthwash to help your new gums heal. For some gum surgeries, you will need to wear a dressing over the treatment site for about a week or more (Colgate, n.d.).
While there are risks of infection after the procedure due to increased vulnerability of your gums and teeth before they heal, it is not much higher than those associated with most other dental procedures. Just be sure to brush carefully, avoid hot foods that may agitate the vulnerable area, and use an ice pack to soothe any discomfort.
Find Out If Gummy Smile Treatment is Best for You!
Deciding whether to get a procedure done is always serious as you would be spending hard earned money on it. In this case, a Gingivectomy in Singapore will set you back about S$200 to S$700, while crown lengthening can cost much more.
Now that you know more about the options available, be sure to have a frank and thorough discussion with our dentists and specialists at Vivid Dental Surgeons and do what you feel is right for you!
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