When we think about cosmetic dentistry, the teeth usually take center stage. We want them to be brighter, more even, and shapelier. However, sometimes it’s the gums that might be making your smile look a little off. Large gums, uneven gums, or long gums can give even the loveliest teeth a short, stumpy, or crooked appearance. During your consultation with Dr. Colin Lathrop, he can help you decide whether reshaping your gum line might help you achieve the toothier grin you’ve been wanting. Dr. Lathrop uses our soft tissue laser to gently sculpt the gum line, removing excessive gum tissue and revealing your healthy tooth enamel. If your smile makeover treatment plan includes porcelain veneers, Dr. Lathrop may want to reshape the gums so that the veneers look like a natural part of your smile.
In years past, your dentist would have used surgical methods to reshape your gum line. Although effective, surgical gum contouring requires a longer healing period, stiches or sutures, and a less precise treatment. Innovative soft tissue lasers boast a number of advantages over surgical techniques, including:
Gum disease progresses in a predictable series of stages, beginning with gingivitis and ending with severe periodontitis. Plaque, a sticky, clear, slightly yellow substance that builds up between teeth and along the gum line, encourages the growth of bacterial colonies. As these bacteria grow and thrive, they irritate your gum tissue. Your body’s natural healing response takes effect and prompts the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. As the gums recede, periodontal pockets form between the tooth and the gums, which in turn trap more bacteria and food particles. Your body senses the growing infection and begins to destroy the connective tissues holding the nearest tooth in place. The tooth loosens and eventually will need to be extracted.
While gingivitis, especially in its earliest stages, can be treated with more vigilant at-home care, later stages of gum disease need more aggressive therapies. Dr. Lathrop is excited to offer soft tissue laser treatments for gum disease. The laser can be used to eliminate the bacterial infection and remove damaged tissue. Even better, laser’s concentrated light energy actually stimulates the growth of new gum and connective tissue to help you heal faster.