In this podcast, Dr. Dr. Nammy talks with John Maher about how laser contouring can help to fix uneven gums. They discuss the whole health benefits of oral health improvement.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental, health and whole-body health, and author of the best-selling books Age with Style: Your Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding the Link Between Your Teeth and Your Health. Today, our topic is uneven gums and laser contour. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thanks for having me.
What Causes Uneven or Receded Gums?
John: Sure. Dr. Nammy, how does one get receding and uneven gums?
Dr. Nammy: Receding and uneven gums happen for many reasons. Sometimes it’s from aggressive brushing. If we brush too hard, we might brush one tooth more than the other. So that’s a common reason for having one gum to be higher than the other. Sometimes it’s genetics, sometimes what happens is that our bodies just kind of develop in that way, where there is one arch that has upper gums that are high and low. So these are very natural, occurring things in many patients.
Sometimes it can also be from a habit, and so if somebody is used to sucking their thumb and the way that the arch develops causes one area to be higher than the other, or if somebody has a nail biting habit and tends to rub their gum in one area more than the other. Sometimes it’s because of the positioning of the teeth. If the teeth are not perfectly straight, like if one’s sticking out more than the other, the gum tissue will be higher on one tooth than the other. So are there many reasons for having, or these are just some of the reasons for having, uneven gum contour.
Symptoms of Uneven Gums
John: And what are some symptoms of uneven gums, maybe other than just visibly seeing the difference in your gums, or what issues can that cause?
Dr. Nammy: The most common issue from uneven gum is really, it’s not aesthetically pleasing at all. It’s hard to have one tooth look bigger than the other, or it’s hard to have a gummy smile. It doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good. It has a consequence on our self-esteem and how we feel about ourselves. So those are some common things that we find with patients with uneven gums, or too much gum really.
Are Receding Gums Bad for Your Health?
John: Can receding gums be bad for your health as well?
Dr. Nammy: Receding in gums can cause sensitivity, and receding gums can cause cavities as well because they’re exposed to the oral microbiome and also saliva. And also, every time you’re eating, it does create acids, so it can cause cavities on the root surfaces.
How Does Laser Contouring Help With Uneven/Receding Gums?
John: And what is laser contouring and how can it help with uneven and receding gums?
Dr. Nammy: Laser contouring is a wonderful method for uneven gums or a gummy smile. So when there’s too much gum or uneven gums, what we can do is take a laser and we can just remove some extra gum tissue to give your smile a beautiful, even look. And sometimes, the thickness of the gum is really extensive, and we find that sometimes with patients who have a lot of melanin in them, we call it hyperplasia, so it means too much gum. So we can actually take a laser and just remove that to give it a beautiful smile, a beautiful, smooth finish. And that’s the main reason why we use lasers. Now, if there’s receding gums, for receding gums, we actually like to add back gum tissue. So for that, we place collagen on the inside of the gums to lift them up.
How Does Laser Contouring Work?
John: Okay. So tell me a little bit more about laser contouring and how the procedure works.
Dr. Nammy: Laser contouring is easy, it’s very comfortable. What we first do is first outline how much to structure or how much tooth structure do we want to expose to make sure that the smile is beautiful and even. And we take a laser beam and remove some gum tissue, and we do check-ins with you to make sure that you’re happy with where it is.
Also, if the gum tissue is really thick, we remove that excess thick layer so that you can have a nice smile so it doesn’t look so gummy. And it’s a very easy procedure. It has a lot of water, so it’s a cool laser, so it’s very comfortable, there’s very little pain. Healing is really easy, it’s really quick and easy and wonderful.
Contact Green Dentistry to Talk About Laser Contouring
John: Okay. And how does one get started?
Dr. Nammy: The best thing to do is come on in for a consultation. Let’s sit down and let’s talk, and let’s make sure that gum recontouring is the best solution for you and the most conservative to solution. And that’s where we’ll start.
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Dr. Nammy. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: You’re welcome, John.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com, or call (415) 433-0119.