Gingivectomy is the surgical removal of excess gum tissue (called gingiva) in order to heal the effects of periodontal disease, correct a gum condition involving the supporting tooth structures and improve an individual’s smile aesthetics. More than 47 percent of Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease, according to the American Dental Association, and gingivectomy is a procedure that can actually help reverse gum problems. Gingivectomy can be performed either the traditional way, using a scalpel, or with a low-frequency dental laser. Patients who undergo laser gingivectomy generally heal faster, have less pain and rarely need stitches or periodontal packing after the procedure like those who have traditional gingivectomy.
The gums tend to recede over time. This can be caused by periodontal disease such as gingivitis, by improper brushing, grinding the teeth and smoking. Smokers are four times more likely to have gum disease than nonsmokers. Gum recession exposes sensitive dental roots, weakens tooth support structures and eventually leads to tooth loss if left untreated. Recessed gums do not grow back on their own and must be fortified by adding soft tissue from the roof of the mouth in a procedure known as a gingival or gum graft. Grafts can also be made from donated, medically processed human tissue. Gum grafting can stop gum recession and bone loss, reduce sensitivity to hot or cold and protect tooth roots from decay. It can also result in a more even gumline, which will improve smile esthetics.
Teeth whitening or bleaching can give you a brighter smile whether it is performed in the office or at home. Both types of whitening use peroxide-based bleaching agents. The main difference is treatment time and relative strength of these bleaching agents. At-home whitening products typically contain 3 percent to 20 percent peroxide while in-office whitening may contain 15 percent to as much as 43 percent peroxide. If you want to whiten your teeth, talk to Dr. Munné about which whitening solution – in-office or at-home – is best for you.
Crown lengthening can improve the health of gum tissue or prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures. In addition, crown lengthening procedures can be used to correct a gummy smile, where teeth are covered by excess gum tissue. Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue. This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the entire gum line, to expose a more pleasant, esthetically pleasing smile.
Laser dentistry or dental laser surgery techniques are especially appreciated by patients who are anxious and uneasy about their dental visits. Laser dentistry can make visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible by eliminating the pain and discomfort long associated with traditional periodontal disease treatment, such as gum grafting and gum surgery.
Not long ago, the most commonly used lip fillers were collagen, fat injections and lip implants. These are used far less frequently today because we have developed safer, longer-lasting lip filler enhancements such as hyaluronic acid or substances similar to it. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the human body. It can also be injected into your lips and around your mouth. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane® and Juvéderm® can add shape, volume and structure to lips, and the effects typically last for six months or longer. Which means that more injections will be needed to maintain the volume and shape of your lips.
Lip repositioning is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate what’s commonly known as a “gummy smile,” meaning that too much gum tissue is exposed when a person smiles. Periodontists call this “excessive gingival display.” Gummy smile affects about 10% of adults between the ages of 20 and 35 and is caused by factors such as excess gum tissue covering the teeth, excess upper jaw bone, a short upper lip or an upper lip that retracts too much when they smile.
BOTOX Cosmetic is an effective alternative treatment for TMD/TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, jaw tension and pain. BOTOX Cosmetic can also eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding and can even minimize the condition known as lockjaw. The TMJ is located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull. The TMJ facilitates talking, eating, swallowing and other daily activities. If this joint becomes displaced or strained by excessive teeth grinding, a person may suffer severe tension headaches and sharp jaw pain. BOTOX Cosmetic relieves this by relaxing the muscles and the often unconscious movement that leads to headaches and pain.
Learn more about cosmetic treatment with periodontist Anna Munné, DDS. Call 713-795-4666 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. Our cosmetic treatment patients come to us from Montgomery County, Harris County, Fort Bend County and Brazoria County, TX, including Pearland, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Houston, Bellaire, Missouri City and close-by locations.