How Can I Change the Shape of my Gum?

Some people are told that they have a “gummy” smile which means that a lot of the gum can be seen when they smile, and while this is a totally normal thing, most people are self-conscious about it and want it to be modified. People with short gums, caused by gum recession, certain medications, and even genetics, are also after the same result. That’s where gum contouring comes in.

It’s important to note that not all dentists are trained in gum contouring, so it’s important to do research and find someone that is experienced in the procedure. Scalpels and lasers are most commonly used to remedy the gum shape and can be done right at the dentist’s office with a little bit of localized anesthesia.

While the procedure itself is fairly simple when done by the right person, it can take quite a while for the patient to recover from the ordeal–up to several weeks. While your dentist will give you a detailed aftercare plan before you leave the office, there are some tips that you can do in order to ensure your recovery is as smooth as possible.

  • Over the counter pain medication such as Tylonel and Advil. Aspirin is not recommended as it also acts as a blood thinner and can complicate the healing process by causing bleeding. Stronger pain management medication may also be prescribed.
  • Opt for cooler, softer foods and stay away from spicy food and anything hot like coffee for the first several days.
  • Do not floss. Instead, use safe brushing methods that your dentist will recommend.
  • Rest. One of the most important things that you can do is to let your body recover at its own pace. Over exertion can cause bleeding and swelling, so take it easy until your body has had time to heal.

For more information on gum contouring, or to set up a consultation, contact us today by using the “Book an Appointment” section on our website.

Should I Choose Metal Braces or Clear Aligners?

Thinking back, there really weren’t a lot of options for people who had misaligned teeth. The only one that comes to most people’s minds who had braces when they were kids is the traditional metal braces that were adhered to your teeth and had colourful, changeable, elastic bands. Nowadays, while those kind still exist, clear aligners have come into the picture, changing the game of orthodontics and giving people more choice and options. Is one better than the other, though? Let’s go through the pros and cons of each.

Starting with the traditional metal braces, there’s a reason why they have been around for so long. Because they work. There have even been advancements so that the brackets are not as large and noticeable, and a heat activated wire called an “archwire” can be used to help speed up the long process.

Pros of metal braces include:

  • Suitable for all ages
  • No risk of loss and charge of replacement
  • Faster treatment
  • Inexpensive
  • Able to correct moderate and severe tooth alignment cases

Cons of metal braces include:

  • Noticeable
  • Hard to clean around
  • Can cut and irritate your lips and cheeks
  • Unable to eat foods that are sticky or hard such as popcorn and gum

For those who can’t live without these foods, or for those who want something removeable, the newest option on the market are clear aligners and they’re becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they’re unnoticeable to anyone who glances your way, and can be removed at any time for easy eating and cleaning. However, like with anything, there are cons to these aligners, but let’s start with the pros.

Pros of clear aligners include:

  • Invisible
  • Affordable
  • Removable during meal time and when brushing teeth
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons of clear aligners:

  • Discomfort after getting a new set
  • Have to visit the dentist more frequently
  • Risk of losing them when removed
  • Not suitable for busy individuals who might forget to put them in/back in
  • Unable to correct severe cases

The only way to know for sure what kind would suit you or your child the best is to book a consultation with your dentist. Call us today, or make an appointment through our website to discuss your options.

Why is Flossing Important?

Flossing is an activity that dentists recommend you do three time a day–after each meal–and yet, most people have not flossed since their last cleaning appointment, even though it’s proven that flossing has a better impact on your health than brushing. This is because flossing can reach the spaces in between your teeth that no toothbrush, powered or otherwise, can reach. When that food is left there for days on end, it can lead to plaque and even tooth loss and decay.

There are other important reasons to floss as well, such as preventing the following:

  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Heart problems
  • Increased risk of cancer in the neck and head
  • Periodontal disease
  • Increased risk of dementia

Although the more severe problems are rare, there have been numerous studies that have connected them to the state of one’s oral health.

However, flossing has never been easier which means that you can start at any time. If the regular flossing doesn’t work for you, there are other methods that use air or water to flush out the spaces between your teeth. To find out which method is best for you, contact your dentist to discuss your options.

Remedies for Dental Pain

Mouth pain is common after visiting the dentist, especially to those who don’t brush or floss on a regular basis and come to the dentist with their gums already inflamed. However, this discomfort usually disappears in less than an hour after leaving the dental office. Other procedures, however, such a root canal therapy, can leave an ache in the patient’s mouth for sometimes days after the procedure. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the discomfort, such as those listed below:

  • Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen: This is the most common type of pain reliever that most go to for everyday body pains such as headaches. It’s also one of the easiest to get since the medication is available over the counter at most grocery stores and does not require a prescription. Always be sure to read and follow the label for dosage and safety tips.
  • Ora-Jel: Some patients have a hard time swallowing pills, so for them, there is ora-jel, a topical gel that is placed directly on the tooth for fast, targeted relief. As with the pills, always read and follow the label for dosage and age restrictions regarding the product.
  • Saltwater Rinse: Keep in mind that this one is only able to be done 24 hours after the dental procedure. Mix one tablespoon of salt with 8oz of water, then swirl it in your mouth and spit into the sink. Do not swallow. Repeat this 2-3 times a day to maximum healing and discomfort relief.
  • Avoidance: If you generally chew on your left side and the procedure was done there as well, switch it up and chew on the opposite side to avoid any pain and discomfort. Hot drinks such as coffee and cold ones like ice water can also aggravate a dental injury, so it’s best to stick to room temperature water if your thirst needs to be quenched, and soft foods like yogurt, jello, and mashed potatoes to quell your hunger.
  • Rest: Nothing will heal the body more than bed-rest. Staying relaxed and stress free promotes healing and will get you back on your feet faster than if you push yourself to do all of your normal activities.

Your dentist may have some other recommendations for you regarding pain management. If excessive swelling, bleeding, or pain occurs, get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible.


Bad breath occurs naturally when we eat certain foods or neglect to brush our teeth, but chronic bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is another story. Luckily, halitosis is easily treatable if you do the following things.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once. The best times to do this is directly after a meal to remove any food particles that may cause your breath to smell bad. Don’t forget to scrub your cheeks and tongue as well.

Drink plenty of water. If your mouth is dry, there’s nothing to help wash away bacteria that can stick to the sides of your mouth.

Check your zinc levels. Many people who suffer from halitosis often have low zinc levels. This is because zinc is a naturally occurring antimicrobial. Foods that are high in zinc include: tofu, pumpkin seeds, lentils, beef, and oysters. Just be sure not to consume any of these with alcohol, as alcohol reduces zinc even further.

Use natural oils. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil work wonders for killing bad odours and destroying bacteria. Put a couple drops on your toothbrush for instant good breath.

Eat the parsley garnish. Many people are quick to discard the parsley garnish that comes on most plates, but little do they know that parsley is a tasty way to deodorize their breath. This is because parsley contains chlorophyll.

Visit the dentist regularly. By attending your bi-yearly cleaning, you’re helping to eliminate plaque, tartar, and other inhabitants in your mouth that can contribute to bad breath.

If your bad breath persists even after trying these methods, visit your local dentist to help diagnose the problem. 

Dental Bridges in Burbank, California

A dental bridge is one of the ways that you can fill in the gaps between your teeth that have been caused by the removal of a tooth. By opting in for a dental bridge procedure, your smile will look more natural, you’ll be able to eat properly, and your speech will return to normal if it has been affected by the loss of the tooth.

There are three types of bridges. A consultation with your dentist will help determine which one is the right fit for you. Traditional bridges are the most common, where a fake tooth is placed and crowns are fitted on the surrounding teeth to hold it in place. Cantilever bridges are used when there is only one tooth next to the tooth that is missing. Maryland bridges use porcelain or metal rather than the cementing approach and therefore are not as strong as a traditional bridge.

Getting a dental bridge is a relatively simple procedure, but can take place over the course of a few visits. This is because you’ll have to take imprints and have measurements done so the constructed bridge is customized to your mouth. Temporary crowns are available if needed and will be removed once the permanent ones are ready to be cemented in. A local anesthetic will be used to ensure that no pain is felt during the procedure.

Afterwards, some mild discomfort may be felt which can quickly be remedied with over the counter pain medication or by applying ice to the outside of the jaw. With a very quick recovery time, patients can typically eat and drink normally right after the bridge has been placed. For more severe pain, contact your dentist, as something may need to be adjusted.

For further questions about dental bridges, or to schedule a consultation about one, contact Brilliant Dental Group by calling (818) 558-5630.