Gum Reshaping

Gum reshaping, also known as gum contouring, is in fact a cosmetic dental treatment that is used to bring improvement in the general appearance of one’s teeth. The treatment is for the people who have a “gummy smile”. In this situation, the gums appear to be swelled and they cover considerable view of the teeth.

There are some other reasons for the gummy smile which include:

  • Vertical maxillary excess: this is a situation in which the upper jaw bone grows lower to the level of upper lip. This is more common in growing children with breathing problems due to adenoids
  • Short upper lip: in some people, the upper lip does not grow with the same rate as the lower one. This causes the upper gums to be exposed to a greater extent making the smile gummy.
  • Hyperactive upper lip: due to tight facial muscles, gums are more exposed during smile. This problem is more common with females.


Normally the front teeth are more affected and they appear very short, thus affecting one’s desire to smile.

There can be various reasons such as health care circumstances, genetics and sometimes high blood pressure medicines. Gummy smile can cease one’s self-confidence and may lead them to avoid smiling in public. But the good news is that the malady is curable with quite simple and painless treatment.

What is a ‘gummy smile’?

A person is said to be having a gummy smile when a percentage of his front teeth is covered by the gums. Genetic factor is the major reason for that but this doesn’t mean that this is the only reason.  Medications for high blood pressure can also be a reason for this malady. The front teeth are mainly affected but the teeth at the rear such as the molars can also be affected. Gummy smile can be considered as an aesthetic problem rather a medical dilemma. The most drastic impact on the patient is the loss of his self-confidence and mental welfare as he feels shy to smile in public. So it can be said that gum countering is as important as dental treatment.

What is gum reshaping?

Gum reshaping or gum countering is a treatment mostly done with the help of a scalpel.  However, with the advancement in the technology, laser has been involved in the treatment of gum reshaping just like other dental treatments. The word of “Laser” may sound terrifying to some people but in reality there is absolutely nothing to worry about. This is completely safe and has no side-effects. The use of scalpel makes the process a bit longer but the laser provides and added advantage that is stops the bleeding by sealing the blood vessels that releases due to incision. Moreover, the use of veneers and crowns after the completion of the treatment, gum reshaping is quite simple that can easily cure the ‘gummy smile’.

What does gums are reshaped?

The first thing to do before starting the treatment of gum countering is to make the considered area senseless. This can be done by injecting certain anesthesia directly into the gums. Then the laser or the scalpel can be used to remove the excessive gum covering the front teeth. The practitioners not only remove the excessive gum by cutting them down, at the same time they work to reshape the remaining gum which is the actual goal of this treatment.

Sometimes the patient’s condition becomes so severe that reshaping or removing of gums is not enough. Under such circumstances, practitioners may remove some part of bone in which the tooth is rooted. Here what work are the practitioner’s skills that how wisely he takes the decision and how skillfully he predicts the future circumstances. He may prescribe you crowns or veneers after the completion of the first treatment.

Lip lowering is another solution for gummy smile. This involves a minor surgery to reshape the lips. In this way the lips become short that gives the teeth a better aesthetic and improves the smile. This is a costly solution that can even require thousands of dollars to be spent.

Benefits of gum reshaping and possible risks

With the help of this treatment your smile and self-confidence will be improved. There are certain risks involved in those procedures in which cutting into tissues and bone are used. Before deciding to go for this type of treatment, you should judge the implication of such risks. The healing process is quite simple and quick, but if the scalpel were applied, it may take a bit longer.

The process is almost pain-free. You will not feel any type of pain because the local anesthetic applied will make the gums temporarily senseless. In some cases, the bone may require to be removed to make your teeth prominent. There is nothing to worry about. The removal of large area of gums can create complications and the healing process becomes slow. In severe cases, the gums swell and require further treatment to cure properly. Gum reshaping can be relatively a bit costly. In case of laser treatment, the cost may rise up to $120 but it is far less for scalpel treatment.


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