Patients with a low gum line often feel self-conscious about their smiles. Gummy smiles result from a visual imbalance between the tooth structure and the gum line. Knoxville, TN periodontist Dr. Robert Cain offers periodontal plastic surgery and tissue subtractive procedures to restore the balance of your teeth and gums for a beautiful and confident smile.
While periodontal surgery can improve the aesthetics of your smile, it may also enable your dentist to perform needed dental restorations. It can be difficult for patients with gummy smiles to restore a damaged or decayed tooth due to insufficient tooth structure. Periodontal plastic surgery removes excess tissue and provides access to the tooth for treatment.
Gummy Smile Causes
A variety of different things can cause a gummy smile. They mostly fall into two separate categories: genetics issues and imbalanced facial muscles or oversized development in the mouth. This includes oversized gum tissue, enlarged teeth, or bigger jawbone development. We take care to determine the root cause of your gummy smile so that we can treat it properly. Every patient is different, so we’ll have a consultation and determine the best treatment route for your needs.
Oversized tissue and bone are prominent issues. The solutions to those problems are usually solved by the procedures that we perform in our office. We remove the excess gum tissue so that the teeth appear longer and everything is better balanced. In some cases, patients may need jawbone reshaping or surgeries on the teeth so that the smile can be balanced.
Injectables may also be options for your smile. Botox can relax facial muscles so that the upper lip is relaxed and things lie properly in the mouth. Dermal fillers can then fill out other areas in the face to ensure that the entire smile and facial structure are then balanced.
Comprehensive Periodontal Treatment Planning
Periodontist Dr. Robert Cain has provided personalized and comprehensive periodontal therapy to patients in the Knoxville, TN area for over 20 years. His experience and advanced education in the field of periodontal therapy and periodontal plastic surgery make him uniquely qualified to provide natural-looking and long-lasting results.
Dr. Cain provides state-of-the-art periodontal treatments in Knoxville, TN. Before any procedure, Dr. Cain will perform a thorough oral health exam and build a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your personal oral and cosmetic goals. Dr. Cain will take the time to explain each needed periodontal treatment and how it will benefit you.
Tissue Subtractive Procedures
We offer various ways to lessen the appearance of a gummy smile. It’s most common to have this issue with the top teeth, though it’s also possible for your lower jaw.
Dental Crown Lengthening
Dental crown lengthening is ideal for patients with teeth that are the appropriate size but covered with excess gum tissue. The dental crown lengthening procedure removes and reshapes the gum line exposing more of the natural tooth. Dr. Cain will use strategic planning through the use of models and molds of your teeth to ensure a natural and predictable result.
Depending on your cosmetic goals and oral health, the dentist performs the procedure on one or all of your teeth. During treatment, Dr. Cain will provide sedation dentistry so you may feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment. The dentist makes mall incisions around the gum tissue and teeth.
Dr. Robert Cain then uses a special tool to gently push the gum line back to expose the tooth crown. Patients generally heal quickly from the crown-lengthening sutures, and the results are immediate. Dr. Cain is highly experienced in the crown lengthening procedure and provides constant and natural-looking results.
A gingivectomy is a procedure used to remove excess tissue covering the tooth surface. This tissue build-up is also commonly referred to as gingival hyperplasia. Orthodontic appliances, certain medications, and genetics can all cause gingival hyperplasia.
Dr. Cain performs the gingivectomy procedure using noninvasive lasers. Gingivectomy does not require the use of sutures, and the process requires minimal downtime and is generally pain-free. Patients with hyperplasia due to an orthodontic appliance are ideal candidates for the gingivectomy procedure.
Gummy Smile Surgery Recovery
As with any surgical procedure, there’s downtime after you get it. The healing process usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how extensive it is and how well you take care of the tissue. Healing takes longer when you have a procedure that’s done traditionally, with a scalpel. Laser gum treatment is less painful and takes much less time to heal because it cauterizes and sterilizes as the treatment takes place.
With laser treatment, you typically won’t have a lot of pain or swelling after. You’ll have more if you have a procedure with a scalpel. We may prescribe you pain medication or recommend over the counter solutions to help you manage your pain. Swelling can be uncomfortable, too, even if it isn’t painful. Use cold compresses or ice packs to ease that swelling. If you experience severe pain in the days after the procedure, call us immediately, as this isn’t routine.
You may think that physical activity doesn’t play any part in healing gums. But you do need rest to ensure everything heals properly. Avoid working out and other strenuous activities for a week or so after your procedure. These activities increase the blood pumping, causing more inflammation and discomfort in your gums.
Luckily, the area isn’t too sensitive after the procedure. But you should still stick to soft foods for the first few days to a week. Try to avoid foods that are really hard or country. You should also avoid foods that have little seeds in them or that are really spicy or acidic. They’re most likely to irritate the gum tissue.
Gummy Smile FAQs
How long does it take to fix a gummy smile?
The full process of fixing a gummy smile, including healing, takes about 6-12 weeks.
How do you get rid of a gummy smile with Botox?
Patients can correct a smile with Botox. The dentist injects Botox into the upper lip. This relaxes muscles allowing your upper lip to cover more of your gums.
Schedule A Dental Exam Today
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and gums due to a gummy smile, contact Knoxville, TN periodontist Dr. Cain. Our dental care team can help restore the balance and aesthetics of your smile so you can enjoy years of healthy and happy smiles. You can contact our office or request an appointment online.