Cosmetic gum sculpting, also known as laser gum sculpting, is a form of periodontal plastic surgery that removes excess gum tissue. People undergo gum sculpting to improve the looks of their smile. For some people, too much gum tissue creates a “gummy smile” which also raises the risk of gum infection and tooth loss. The higher the gumline, the more area beneath the gums is available for bacteria to set up infection. That’s a highly undesirable situation. Removing that excess tissue is called “crown lengthening.”
For others, a receding gumline gives teeth an unappealing appearance, often looking too long. Areas of the teeth below the usual gumline have no enamel, opening the roots up to decay. Gum sculpting, in this case, can involve removing tissue from other areas of the mouth and placing it on the gumline, where it will bond and form a protective layer over tooth roots.
Cosmetic gum sculpting also removes excess tissue that can crop up between the upper front and bottom teeth, given an overly fleshy look to the smile. Gum sculpting can also recontour an uneven gum line.
Gum sculpting is carried out under anesthesia. Laser gum sculpting has the quickest healing time, as the laser seals blood vessels as it works. Less bleeding means faster healing than more conventional scalpels, although they work well too.
Most patients have some tissue swelling and experience discomfort. Primary recovery takes a day on average. During the first 24 to 72 hours, patients should eat soft foods like pasta, yogurt, soft cheese, and ice cream. Avoid hot or very cold beverages. Avoid spicy foods and anything with seeds until your gums have healed completely.
Your dentist at Dental Wellness of Suffern will tell you how to rinse your mouth and brush during the recovery period. Don’t take aspirin for pain during your healing period, as it can cause excessive bleeding. Other over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be used in case of discomfort.
Call us immediately if you experience an allergic reaction, or your swelling lasts more than 48 hours