Dental Tips Blog


Reasons to Consider Laser Gingival Recontouring

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Gingival recontouring is the procedure that involves adjusting the margin of the gum tissue along the teeth. It can be done with soft tissue lasers, taking only a few minutes, and eliminating the healing time that is needed when it is performed with traditional surgical methods. In fact, laser periodontal therapy generally has no discomfort whatsoever, and the results are instant! Here are 3 benefits that you might want to think about when taking gum recontouring into consideration:

Gummy smiles.

When you smile, do you see more gum tissue than teeth? Gummy smiles can make some people not want to smile at all, because they are paranoid of how their smile looks. Adjusting the margin of the gums allows more tooth surface to be seen. Sometimes excess tissue may grow due to medications that are taken, and laser recontouring is an effective way to control that overgrowth. 

Teeth that appear short, or uneven.

If too much gum tissue covers the teeth, then the teeth appear shorter than they really are. Irregular margins of the gum tissue can make teeth look different sizes than they other ones next to them, or generally shorter overall. Adjusting the margin of the gumline helps create a uniform appearance across the mouth, and teeth that are sized appropriately. 

Little tooth exposure when treatments are needed.

Sometimes treatments like crowns need to be completed, but there is not enough tooth structure exposed for the crown to be cemented onto. By reducing the gumline around these teeth and lengthening the amount of crown visible above the gums, teeth can be restored much easier and stay healthier around their new restorations.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Gum Grafting

Posted in Gum Disease

Do you suffer from gum recession, or areas of increased tooth sensitivity? If your gums do not cover your teeth adequately, it can leave a portion of your tooth exposed that isn’t meant to be. This area is called dentin, and dentin is typically covered by the gums and tooth enamel. When dentin is exposed, it can place the tooth at an increased risk for gum disease and tooth sensitivity.

Recession is typically caused by:

  • Abrasive toothbrushing
  • Tobacco use
  • Gum disease
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overzealous orthodontic treatments

Because dentin is porous, it makes the tooth very sensitive to what is on the outside. Simple cool drinks may send shocking jolts through straight to the nerve. While sensitivity toothpaste can help alleviate some of the problems with sensitivity, they do not protect the structural stability of the tooth which as been lost. If recession progresses severely, it can lead to tooth loss and replacement of the missing teeth with dental implants, a bridge, or dentures.

Unfortunately, receded gums do not repair themselves. Gum grafting allows patients to have these severe recession areas covered with new gum tissue, protecting the tooth surface as well as improving the stability of the tooth. This is especially important for patients that have localized areas of severe gum disease and are at risk of losing the tooth.

To perform gingival grafting, a piece of donor tissue is taken from another site in the patient’s body (such as the roof of the mouth), or from a tissue bank. The tissue is then placed within a small pocket just under the patient’s natural gumline, and blanketed around the tooth into the desired position. Depending on the type of graft needed, it may or may not require sutures or dressings during the healing period.

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