Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that fixes an uneven gum line. Your dentist can use a scalpel or a soft tissue laser to cut away and sculpt excess gum tissue.
This technique can also help restore the gum line if you have lost tissue due to periodontal disease. It’s important that you choose a dentist who is experienced with this procedure.
What is the procedure?
If you have a smile that is marred by a gummy smile or teeth that seem too small because of overgrown gum tissue, you can improve your appearance with laser gum reshaping. Also known as tissue sculpting or gum contouring, it is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed in the dentist’s office.
Gum reshaping is primarily a cosmetic dental procedure, but it can also be a solution for patients who have hereditary gingival hyperplasia or whose gums recede due to aggressive tooth brushing, a medical condition or prescription medications. In these cases, reshaping the gums can expose more of the roots and make the teeth appear longer and healthier.
In most cases, the dentist will use a scalpel or a laser to remove or reshape the gum tissue. The type of tool used will influence the level of pain experienced by the patient during and after the procedure. In general, lasers are less invasive and cause less bleeding during the healing process.
For some patients, gum reshaping may be recommended before a crown lengthening or pocket reduction procedure because too much tissue can trap food particles and accelerate tooth decay. This is a health concern that may lead to periodontal disease. A reshaped gum line will help prevent such problems and preserve the patient’s existing teeth for longer.
How long will the procedure take?
As with any surgical procedure, the amount of healing time largely depends on how extensive the surgery is. If a lot of gum tissue is grafted or removed, the recovery will be longer than if only a small amount of tissue was removed or trimmed. Additionally, procedures that use scalpels tend to require more recovery than those that utilize lasers since the cutting of gum tissue can cause bleeding.
Before the procedure begins, you’ll receive a local anesthetic that will numb the gum area. This prevents any pain or discomfort during the actual process, though you may feel some tenderness afterward. Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can help with any discomfort that persists after the procedure.
During your recovery, you’ll be asked to avoid eating anything that could cut or harm your gums. You should also stick to a soft diet that includes things like yogurt, soup, and applesauce for a few days or weeks after the procedure. Additionally, it’s important to follow your doctor’s post-surgery dietary instructions and to attend any scheduled follow-up appointments as needed.
Depending on your unique situation, your dentist may recommend that you get bone or tissue grafts as well to maximize the cosmetic benefits of gum reshaping. It’s also possible that your insurance company will cover some or all of the cost of this procedure if it is done for medical reasons like repairing damage caused by gum disease.
Are there any risks associated with the procedure?
Gum reshaping is generally considered a cosmetic dental procedure, but it can also be done for oral health reasons. For instance, if your gum tissue has receded as a result of periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend this procedure along with other treatments like pocket reduction surgery or gum regeneration therapy (which involves grafting gum tissue).
A dental scalpel is used to trim away excess gum tissues for a more even and attractive gum line. You’ll be given anesthesia to numb the area before the procedure begins. This means that you won’t feel any pain during the reshaping or removal process. However, once the surgery is over, you might experience some tenderness and numbness that can be managed with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). You’ll also need to stick to a soft diet for a few days—this includes yogurt, soup, ice cream, and pudding.
In addition to creating a more symmetrical smile, gum contouring can help reduce your risk of developing gum disease by giving oral bacteria fewer places to hide. However, it’s important to note that reshaping the gums is not a permanent solution, and your dentist might need to redo the procedure in the future if you develop new pockets or receded gums. Therefore, you should only undergo this procedure if it is essential for your oral health.
Can I get the procedure done at my dentist’s office?
Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that is typically done in the dentist’s office and involves trimming away extra gum tissue or reshaping the gum line to make your teeth look longer and more symmetrical. In the past, this was a time-consuming and difficult process that required scalpels and sutures but now we can use a dental laser to reduce pain and speed up healing.
Whether you have an uneven gum line or are suffering from gummy smile syndrome or receding gums that expose more of your tooth roots, our expert dentist at Mark Arooni DDS can help with our state-of-the-art procedure. He is fully experienced in using the precision laser to sculpt your gums and give you a beautiful, even smile.
We understand that your dental health is a priority and that’s why we are proud to offer this service in our dental clinic. We will go through a consultation process to ensure that you’re a good candidate for the procedure. We’ll also determine the best way to do the surgery, whether that’s through traditional methods or by using a dental laser.
After the procedure, you’ll need to stick with soft foods like yogurt, soup, ice cream or pudding for a few days until the gums heal. You’ll also need to avoid anything that could cut or irritate the gums. We may schedule a follow-up appointment for you to check up on your recovery progress and let you know when it’s safe to resume your normal diet.