Reducing Gum Line

One of the biggest aesthetic complaints that dental patients have about their smile is that their teeth can seem very small and out of proportion as compared to their large gum lines.  In addition to large gums making patients self-conscious, they can also make it harder for those same patients to adequately care for their gums and teeth.  If you feel that your gums are out of proportion compared to your teeth, speak to your dentist about the benefits of reducing gum line procedures.

If left untreated, an overly large proportion of gum tissue can cause many different problems.  If you have braces, there may not be adequate space to seat each brace without it irritating the gum line.  If you breathe through your mouth commonly, your gums can become dried out and thus susceptible to infection.  When you are trying to clean your teeth or floss, an excess of gum tissue can impede your efforts and make it difficult to maintain good dental health.  In order to avoid these problems as well as the cosmetic issue of your gums appearing too large versus your teeth, there are several types of procedures that your dentist can perform.

Gingivectomy is one of the most common procedures performed to deal with gum tissue that is excessive.  This procedure consists of the excess tissue being cut away.  The indication for this type of oral surgery to be performed is if it is known that the excess tissue overlays teeth instead of oral bones.  Once the tissue is cut away, the mouth must be carefully protected until the gum line can heal, to guard against infection.  The newly exposed portions of teeth must be carefully examined for any decay that might have occurred when covered by the excess gum tissue.

The same results as a gingivectomy can also be achieved through laser surgery which helps to cut away excess tissue.  Laser surgery can be safer than gingevectomy as there is a lower likelihood of infection when this procedure is performed.

If large gums cover bone instead of teeth, flap surgery can be performed which removes both gum and a portion of bone in order to change the contours of the patient’s mouth.  This is typically only indicated in extreme cases where the excess gum tissue is found to be in poor health and this is the only option to restore good health.