How to Fix a Gummy Smile With Gum Contouring

Did you know that one out of four people in Australia is self-conscious because of their smiles? Some people are so embarrassed by how their teeth and gums look that they may try to keep themselves from smiling or laughing. This, of course, is no way to live, and no one should ever be ashamed of their smile, and that’s why dental procedures exist.

Gum contouring is an especially important procedure for those who suffer from gummy smiles. What is a gummy smile, you might ask? A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, is when a large amount of your gums show when you smile.

This can make your smile look “gummy.” But why does a gummy smile happen in the first place, and what can cosmetic dentistry do to fix this problem? Keep reading and learn all about the science behind gummy smiles with this gum contouring guide.

Why Do Gummy Smiles Happen Exactly?

There is no exact definition for a gummy smile, but a person generally has a gummy smile of a large portion of his or her gums show when smiling, usually on the upper jaw. This does not necessarily mean that you have excess gingiva. Rather, your smile may appear gummy depending on the length of your teeth, the way your lips move when you smile, and the position of your jaw.

If around 4 mm or more of gingiva shows when you smile, this can be considered a gummy smile. Anything less than 3 mm of gingiva is usually not considered a gummy smile. This kind of smile can cause people a lot of problems with their self-esteem.

Unlike other dental problems, brushing and flossing your teeth won’t fix your gummy smile. But why does this type of smile occur in the first place? It usually has to do with genetic factors.

For example, if your parents or siblings have gummy smiles, it is likely that you will also have a smile of this type. The problem may have something to do with how your teeth grew in. If you have particularly long teeth, this means that your teeth overerupted when they first came in.

When this happens, the gum line often follows the length of the teeth and continues to grow along with them. This increases the length of the gum line and can often result in a gummy smile. This is especially common if your gums covered a significant amount of your adult teeth when they first erupted.

Causes of Gummy Smiles

The more of your teeth the gums cover, the more substantial the gingiva tends to be later on. However, a gummy smile may also result from excessive bone growth. The maxilla is the bone of your upper jaw.

Again, due to genetics, some people experience excessive growth in this bone. If this bone becomes unusually lengthy, your gums will grow to cover the bone, and this can lead to a gummy smile. In rare cases, some medications can cause gummy smiles as well.

For example, some anti-seizure medications cause a problem known as gingival hyperplasia. This is when your gums start to grow excessively around your teeth. If you think this is the case with your gummy smile, it is important to stop taking that medication and get dental treatment as soon as possible.

Gingival hyperplasia often leads to periodontal disease, which can be dangerous since it can lead to tooth loss if untreated. In the case of normal gummy smiles caused by genetic factors, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to fix the problem. There are many treatment options to choose from, but one of the most effective is gum contouring.

What You Need to Know About Gum Contouring

Gum contouring is also known as gingival sculpting. Its aim is to reduce the appearance of your gums so that you no longer have a gummy smile. This is possible by removing some of the gingivae at the tops of your teeth.

However, in some cases, gum contouring may also be used to restore gum tissue if you are suffering from receding gums. Most of the time, gum contouring is not necessary as a medical procedure. Only in rare cases such as periodontal disease may this be considered a medical procedure.

In that case, your dentist would use gum contouring to remove diseased gum tissue. This can prevent periodontal disease from getting any worse. However, it is usually done for cosmetic reasons.

For that reason, it is not covered by dental insurance, and you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Gum contouring is always conducted by a specialist who is familiar with gums and their importance to your overall dental health. This is important because if you get too much of your gingiva removed, you could suffer from exposed dental roots or experience tooth sensitivity as a result.

But when done properly, you should not need to worry about any dental problems, and you should be free of your gummy smile. But what should you expect from this kind of procedure, you might ask?

The Details

The first thing you should know is that your dentist (usually a cosmetic dentist or a periodontist) will use a special laser or a scalpel to cut away your excess gingiva.

This may sound like a painful and serious procedure, but it is actually quite painless and straightforward. Before you go in for this procedure, you will first need to consult with your dentist and discuss what kind of results you’re hoping to achieve from this procedure. Your dentist will also give you some pointers and tell you what is realistically achievable with gum contouring.

Once your consultation is over, you’ll need to make an appointment for the gum contouring procedure. There is not much preparation needed for this procedure, but your teeth should be clean when you go in for the appointment.

Understanding the Gum Contouring Procedure

You only need one appointment for this procedure, and it is typically performed in your dentist’s office. You will be awake for the duration of the procedure, but keep in mind that you should not feel any pain. This is because your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic.

This will numb the treatment area. If anything, you might feel some pressure in the treatment area, but not pain. There are two ways of proceeding with the procedure: a laser or a scalpel.

When using a scalpel, the dentist will carefully cut away the excess gingiva around your teeth. This will expose a larger amount of your teeth without exposing the roots of the teeth. When using a scalpel, sutures will be necessary to close the cut portions of the gums.

These sutures will either dissolve on their own after a certain period of time, or your dentist will remove them at a later time. When using a laser, sutures are not usually necessary. This is because the laser will cauterize the treatment area and close the cut portions of the gingiva.

Using a laser is often preferred by many dentists today for many reasons. Namely, using a laser speeds up the healing process and also reduces the chance of infection. This is because the heat of the laser burns away any bacteria in the treatment area.

It also reduces bleeding due to its cauterizing effect. Your dentist will work to reshape your gums and secure them around the tops of your teeth. That way, when the gums start to heal, they will heal in the right position.

What You Need to Know

This new position will reduce the appearance of the gummy smile you originally had. The length of the entire procedure will depend on a variety of factors. Usually, it lasts between one and two hours.

If you have a lot of gum to work with, the procedure may take even longer. The cost of the procedure can also vary depending on how much of your gingiva you are getting treated. For example, if you are only treating excess gum growth on one tooth, you may only need to pay a few hundred dollars.

On the other hand, if you want to cut away the excess gingiva for your entire top row of teeth, you may end up spending a few thousand dollars instead. It is not usually more than $3,000 to do this.

Again, because this is typically a cosmetic procedure, dental insurance will not cover it, and you will have to pay for the procedure yourself. However, if you need to get this procedure done for medical reasons such as for treating periodontal disease, it may be possible to get your dental insurance to cover it.

Once the procedure is done, you can go home and resume your life. However, you will need to take special care of your gums until they heal.

How to Recover From Gum Contouring

The recovery time for gum contouring can vary between a few days to a few weeks. The length of the recovery period will depend on how much gingiva you had removed. The more gingiva you removed, the longer you will need to recover, and this is especially true if you treated multiple teeth at once.

In the days following the procedure, you will notice that your gums will be red, tender, and swollen. These are all normal side effects, and you shouldn’t worry about them as they will go away on their own. However, if you think you are experiencing unusually severe swelling or pain, you should consult with your doctor as you may have contracted an infection.

If your dentist treated your gums with a laser, an infection will not be very likely. For the first few days, you will want to avoid anything that may irritate your gums, such as hard foods. For that reason, eating soft foods such as soup or yoghurt will be a good idea.

Your dentist will have likely given you some advice on how to recover from this procedure and which foods you should avoid until your gums start to heal. After about a week, you will need to return to your dentist for a follow-up appointment.

This will give your dentist a chance to look over your gums and make sure they’re healing properly.

The Healing Process

Your dentist can also check if there are any signs of an infection. Your dentist will likely you prescribe you an antibiotic to take while you heal.

This will reduce your risk of infection. This is important because an infection could ruin the recovery process and, in some cases, it could be dangerous to your overall health. For a few days after the procedure, your gums may also hurt, especially once the local anaesthetic wears off.

To treat this pain, it will be a good idea to use some OTC pain medication. Eating cold foods or holding an ice pack against your mouth will also help since the cold can help numb the pain and reduce any swelling you may have. After about a week, your gums should be mostly healed, and you can admire the results of the gum contouring procedure.

All About Gum Contouring

Gum contouring is a procedure designed to treat gummy smiles. A gummy smile is a smile that displays excess gingiva. This usually occurs due to genetic factors.

Gum contouring works by cutting away this excess gingiva and revealing more of the teeth underneath. This can be very beneficial to those who are embarrassed by their gummy smiles. To learn more about treating this dental problem with gum contouring, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Virtually Pain Free Dentist Sydney

Are you looking for a pain free dentist in Sydney?

Here at Just Smile, Dr Rammo has a range of different pain and anxiety relief options to help you feel at ease about your visit.

Helping you feel comfortable during your first appointment

To ease you into your first appointment we will work together to ensure your waiting time is minimal, and we will take the time to listen to your dental concerns prior to any sort of treatment. We help patients with dental anxiety from all over Sydney including Kogarah, Hurstville, Rockdale and the Sutherland Shire.

Communication is a fundamental part of our practice. We will endeavour to pay attention to your personal needs at all times, keeping conscious of any signs that you may be feeling uncomfortable or afraid. During your visits we will do our best to help you relax and feel ok with the situation.

If you feel as if you could be a patient that suffers from dental anxiety, when you make an enquiry or book an appointment with us, simply let us know and we will be especially sensitive about your needs.

Practicing virtually pain free dentistry here in the Sydney suburb of Ramsgate

With have a few different options to provide pain free dental appointments:

  • Gentle dispensing methods of local anaesthetic
  • Nitrous oxide sedation options (happy gas)
  • Virtually painless laser dentistry
  • Compassionate dental care

During your visit we will walk you through the different options that you can choose from for your treatment.

No dental drill at Just Smile

Some patients are concerned about the sensations associated with the dental drill such as vibrations or heat. Here at Just Smile we have invested in laser technology so your treatment can potentially go by without vibrations or drilling noises. Laser technology can also be used to seal the gums, stop bleeding and remove bacteria from your smile.

Mentally preparing yourself for your appointment

To help you feel calm before your appointment, we suggest dabbing some lavender on your temples. Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or prescription medications so that you keep your body clean. Bring things that may comfort you. If you have a wheat bag or an MP3 player feel free to bring it along with you if you feel it may calm you down.

Sound like a dental practice that you would like to visit?

If you have any worries about your treatment, we encourage you to let one of our team members know if you feel you may need some extra time and attention during your care. We are more than happy to assist you in any way we can to ensure your comfort, and will take the time to explain the dental treatments in detail with you.

Book an appointment with Dr Rammo at justSMILE in Ramsgate Beach, Sydney and enjoy a calming and gentle experience.

Dental Drill vs Laser Dentistry: What’s the Difference?

Hate the idea of a dental drill?

justSMILE in Ramsgate Beach offers laser dentistry for patients who are looking for an appropriate and safe alternative.

Used as a method to not only ease anxiety about dental drills, laser dentistry can provide an alternative that has the ability to reduce the post-operative side effects such as discomfort and swelling that can be associated with dental drills.

How laser dentistry can help you

Laser dentistry can be used for a variety of different treatments. Often offering a more comfortable and precise treatment solution, our laser technology avoids the discomfort from heat and vibration that is generally associated with a dental drill.

Most commonly, laser dentistry is used for:

Depending on your required treatment, laser dentistry could be the more efficient and effective technique for your treatment needs.

Dental drill and the hard tissue laser – how the treatments differ

Traditionally for tooth restorations, a dental drill would most likely be used to carefully remove the decay and debris from the damaged tooth. This usually involves some vibrations which can cause the tooth’s natural structure to weaken. By using a dental laser instead, the decay is removed without uncomfortable vibrating and is even generally able to skip the need for numbing (unless requested).

Lasers are also able to reduce sensitivity for those with sensitive teeth and are the most efficient way of completely removing the bacteria from the tooth. Particularly this comes in handy for cases like root canal therapy – where the tooth is filled with infected pulp that requires removal. During the restoration process, the laser can also help the restoration to harden or “cure” further speeding up the treatment processing time.

The benefits of using a laser instead of a dental drill include:

  • Reduced treatment time
  • Fewer visits to the dentist
  • No high pitched drilling noise
  • Protection against tooth decay
  • Treatment is more comfortable
  • Generally no numbing required
  • Less damage to tooth’s structure

Not only are lasers able to offer a more comfortable alternative to the dental drill, they can also help with a variety of soft tissue problems.

The benefits of a soft tissue laser

Lasers provide the most hygienic method of clearing away bacteria for patients with conditions such as periodontal disease and other bacterial infections that are residing in the soft tissues in the mouth.

A soft tissue laser is able to perform procedures with little to no bleeding as the technology both treats and seals the soft tissues – reducing the healing time for the patient.

Do you have a gummy smile?

A soft tissue laser can help with this cosmetic treatment as well! By combining dentofacial aesthetics and laser dentistry, we can contour your gums to reduce excess gum tissue virtually painlessly. The healing time is minimized due to the fact that the laser seals the tissues and the results are noticeable within the fortnight.

To find out more about how laser dentistry can provide you with a more comfortable treatment, take a look at our latest video below!

Sound like the right treatment for you? Book a consultation with Dr Rammo at justSMILE in Ramsgate Beach today. 

Laser Gum Reduction: From Gummy Smile to Yummy Mummy

justSMILE can perform a gum reduction procedure with a dental laser so you don’t have to feel self-conscious about your smile any longer.

Gummy smiles are smiles where there is too much gum grown over the teeth. This is generally a hereditary condition that can be easily solved with laser gum removal. This procedure is great as it uses dental technology that does not require any incisions whatsoever. There is also little to no bleeding as the procedure simultaneously reduces tissue while healing the impact point of the laser. We also muscle relaxant injections in order to minimise the reaction of the upper lip when you smile. For some people this can make their lips appear fuller while also minimising the amount of gum shown. This can be used in conjunction with or by itself to treat a gummy smile.

At justSMILE, helping you feel confident with your smile is our priority. It’s up to you to decide what about your smile you would like to change (if anything) and we would love to help if you do decide you would like to receive cosmetic treatment for any problem areas. We believe that everyone’s smile is beautiful and unique although there are some principles that can help us perform our laser gummy smile procedure.

Proportions of your teeth and smile

While everyone’s smile is different there are some basic rules of proportion that can help determine your best smile. Take a look at the diagram below to see what is generally considered ‘the perfect smile’ in terms of teeth exposure.


If you’re asking ‘how much teeth should be shown’ then the rule (as shown above) is generally decreasing the length of the tooth by 25% each time. So therefore the length of each tooth towards the back of the mouth should be 75% of the one before it. The average length of the two front teeth – and the starting point of our measurement – is 8.5mm to 9.5mm. For some people with a gummy smile this can be significantly smaller as the tooth will appear to be shorter due to the overgrown gum tissue. In some cases this can make the teeth look stubby and can make your smile look gummy.

Are exposed gums a problem?

Gums that are exposed when you are smiling are not a health problem nor do they have any negative impacts on your body. People choose to sculpt their gums or have their gums reduced because they feel uncomfortable and nervous about how much gum shows when they smile. This is not necessarily true for everyone, although most people do eventually want to decrease the amount of gum shown.

There’s no age limit for fixing your gummy smile!

No matter what age you are you can always improve your smile. If you are 30 years or older and want to improve your smile by reducing a gummy smile or even just receiving cosmetic treatment then justSMILE in Ramsgate Beach can help you. Our cosmetic laser can be used to reduce gum tissue and expose more of your teeth for a more balanced smile.

Will my gummy smile treatment look natural?

The gum tissue heals absolutely normally which means no one will be able to notice that your gums have been altered (apart from the improved smile). The only problem which can occur – particularly with individuals over 30 is discolouration contrast. If you drink a lot of tea and coffee then it is likely that the exposed part of your tooth before treatment may be discoloured compared to the newly exposed tooth. If this happens then Dr Rammo at justSMILE can help even out the colour of your teeth for a flawless finish to your gummy smile treatment.

Say goodbye to your gummy smile today!

Give us a call on 02 8417 2962 or book online.

Gummy Smile? Our Laser Dentistry Can Help

A gummy smile can cause self-esteem issues as many people feel self-conscious about their gums being exposed.

This can result in people smiling with their lips closed or not smiling at all. As dentists, we love it when people have the confidence to smile widely, showing off their pearly whites. Here at justSMILE in Ramsgate we provide laser gum removal treatment which is a virtually painless treatment using an advanced diode laser.

How do dental lasers work?

Our diode laser can be used to sculpt gum tissue after a local anaesthetic is applied for your best interest.  This will ensure that you remain comfortable during treatment. This treatment is also bloodless as there are no incisions made or scalpels used. The procedure works by simultaneously sealing and sculpting the tissue which means that there is also no need for stitches or down time. Some patients find it beneficial or more comfortable to eat soft or cold foods after treatment for peace of mind or improved comfort.

Do I need gummy smile treatment?

A gummy smile is not a harmful condition unless it makes you feel self-conscious. Many people do feel self-conscious about their smiles for a number of reasons including gummy smiles and:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Brown discolouration
  • White fluoride discolouration

Gummy smiles can’t fix these cosmetic issues however a combination of dentofacial procedures and cosmetic procedures can. Our goal is to improve your whole smile zone which includes your lips, cheeks, teeth and even your eyes. You may ask ‘how are eyes related to my smile?’, and it may surprise you to know that for most people you can tell they’re smiling without even seeing their teeth. This is because the corners of your eyes become raised when you’re smiling. Unfortunately this habit can result in wrinkles, which is why we offer dentofacial aesthetics such as fillers to fill out these lines without affecting the appearance of your smile and visage.

Muscle relaxants for a gummy smile

We also offer muscle relaxant therapy as part of our dentofacial aesthetics. Although relaxants are mainly used for the purpose of reducing wrinkles and the signs of ageing, they can also be used to reduce the appearance of gummy smiles. The muscle relaxant will be injected into a particular muscle that effects movement of the upper lip. Some gummy smiles are caused by an overactive upper lip which draws back and exposes more of the teeth and gums. In order to fix this Dr Rammo will make injections targeting the function of the particular muscle. This effect is not permanent as it will wear off after a number of months. Although most patients think that the difference that is made is worth returning to our Ramsgate practice for a maintenance treatment.

Comprehensive cosmetic solutions

Our cosmetic solutions include teeth whitening, gummy smile treatment, dentofacial aesthetics, veneers and more. We have a host of treatments that can work for you and create a more appealing smile which can boost your social and professional persona. If you have any concerns about the appearance of your smile we encourage you to visit our Ramsgate practice for an understanding consultation with Dr Rammo. He will help you achieve the smile you want.

You can book an appointment with Dr Rammo by calling us on 02 8417 2962. Otherwise enquire online.

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Harness the Power of Light with Laser Dentistry

The term ‘laser’ might be synonymous with science fiction

but its real world applications expand beyond that of lightsabers and laser weapons. In fact the use of the laser in the dental profession has more gentle applications than its fictional counterpart.

Laser dentistry offers patients an option that has reduced recovery time, is minimally invasive and allows the dentist to deliver precision. It is a perfect option for those who are anxious when visiting the dentist because at Just Smile near the Sutherland Shire, to accompany our DELight Versa Wave® Dental laser we offer sedation techniques to make it as smooth and comfortable as possible.

What is a DELight Versa Wave® Dental laser?

DELight Versa Wave® Dental Laser is an advanced laser that allows our principal dentist Dr Rammo to abolish tooth decay and bacteria as well as prepare the tooth for restoration and maintain as much as the natural tooth as possible. It is a perfect complement to any dental treatment that requires delicate cleansing or sterilization of the teeth or gums.

So how does a dental laser work?

A dental laser emits a concentrated beam of light due to the reaction between light or electricity exciting electrons in the atoms that release photons creating a chain reaction. The light emitted reacts to the tissue causing it to heat up and it allows dentists the ability to cut and shape obtrusions, bone, gum while sterilizing with heat.

Prevention is better than a cure and at Just Smile we fully support laser dentistry…

Our DELight Versa Wave® Dental laser is utilised to its full potential by providing treatments such as:

  1. Gum Lifting or gingivectomy: correct an overly gummy, uneven or unattractive smile by cutting and reshaping the gum line to make it more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Tooth Decay removal: while simultaneously preserving as much as your natural tooth as possible the lasers can remove tooth decay and bacteria, leaving the teeth clean and sterilized.
  3. Preparation: its ability to sterilize makes it a perfect companion to other forms of dental work such as the maximisation of bonding tooth coloured fillings and cosmetic dental work.
  4. Periodontal treatment: can alleviate the swelling and infection caused by plaque and periodontal disease.
  5. Root Canal treatment: the laser can help for the sterilisation of the tooth during a root canal treatment.

DELight Versa Wave® Dental Laser is one of the latest and best dental technologies available so why not visit a dentist who offers the latest innovations? At Just Smile we are all about prevention and we will do whatever we can to help patients before the problem intensifies. Our laser dentistry may not save the universe but it will save our patients from future tooth loss and tooth decay one appointment at a time.

For more information on laser dentistry, how Just Smile can help you, or to book an appointment at our Ramsgate dental practice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Unit 4-160 Ramsgate Road
Ramsgate Beach NSW 2217
Phone: (02) 9159 3764
Monday - Friday:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat. - Sun.: Closed
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Free Smile Assessment Offer:
  1. Must be over 18 years of age
  2. Free Smile Assessment consultation must be face to face
  3. Includes : Smile analysis, Facial lines and asymmetries, Teeth size, shape and position analysis, Teeth color recording, Jaw analysis, General tooth and gum health assessment and advise on the suitability for Invisalign or other Smile Make-Over procedures and recommendations.
  4. Does not include a full examination, x-rays or a scale and polish.
  5. Free Smile Assessment offer can be used in conjunction with other offers such as Whitening, Check up and Polish, and Invisalign offers.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. This offer may change without notice.