Gum contouring is a common dental procedure that involves the removal of excess gum tissue that covers the teeth. Excessive gingival display, also known as a gummy smile, can occur when too much gum tissue is visible above the teeth when you open your mouth or smile. This condition can have a variety of causes, such as certain prescription medications. In some cases, too much gum tissue is a result of genetics.
If you feel self-conscious about your gumline, consider the advantages of gum contouring surgery.
Learn more about the procedure and the benefits of undergoing treatment.
What Is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a procedure that reshapes and re-sculpts the gumline to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. This process involves removing excess gum tissue around the teeth to create a more desirable teeth-to-gum ratio. While it is usually not medically necessary, it can improve the look of the teeth, gums, and smile.
Gum contouring is commonly performed for cosmetic reasons, however; there may be times when the procedure is medically necessary. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease and non-surgical options have not been effective in treating your condition, your dentist may recommend gum reshaping or a gum lift. In some instances, gum contouring may be performed with other procedures, such as pocket reduction surgery to help save your natural teeth.
What Does Gum Contouring Surgery Involve?
Gum contouring is typically an in-office procedure performed during a single visit. Before the procedure begins, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the gum area. While you are awake during treatment, you shouldn’t feel any pain.
Traditionally, it is performed using a scalpel to remove excess gum tissue and re-sculpt the gumline. The reshaped gum tissue is then sutured in place while it heals.
Today, laser gum contouring is also available. This procedure uses innovative laser technology to reshape the gums with minimal discomfort and downtime. There are several benefits of treatment with a laser, including higher precision, fewer side effects, and a smoother recovery.
What Is Recovery Like?
While gum contouring surgery may seem like a major procedure, recovery is usually fast, and patients require minimal downtime. Patients can typically drive themselves home after treatment, but it is recommended that you spend the remainder of the day resting. This means limiting your activity for several hours to minimize the risk of bleeding.
During recovery, it is important to maintain a regular oral health routine. Use caution when brushing and flossing around the affected area during the recovery period. Follow all instructions provided by your dentist to lower your risk of infection and speed up recovery.
For several days following the procedure, you may have dietary restrictions in place to prevent further irritating your gums as they heal. Stick to relatively soft, cool foods, such as yogurt, soft vegetables, and applesauce. Avoid eating foods that contain small seeds or sharp edges that could cause irritation. Most patients require several days to recover from gum contouring surgery, although recovery time can span up to two weeks.
What are the Benefits?
Gum contouring can offer patients both cosmetic and medical benefits. Some benefits include:
- Reduces the gumline – Extra gum tissue can result in a gummy smile that affects a person’s self-confidence. Once the excess tissue is removed, the gum-to-teeth ratio is improved, resulting in a more attractive smile.
- Evens out the gumline – Gum contouring can also even out the gumline. When the gumline is uneven, it can make the teeth appear crooked. It also helps to create balance for a beautiful, even smile.
- Ward off tooth decay – A major benefit is a lower risk of tooth decay. Excess gum tissue can trap food, regardless of your oral health regimen. The longer that bacteria remain, the greater your risk of cavities and gum disease developing.
Contact Artistic Touch Dentistry
If you are self-conscious about your excessive or uneven gumline, gum contouring may be right for you. Contact our Melbourne FL dentist at Artistic Touch Dentistry to learn more about our dental services or to schedule an appointment.