For people with uneven gums that are either too high or too low on the teeth, gum contouring is a procedure that can be used to reshape a patient’s gumline. In general, the operation is quick to accomplish and does not require an extensive recovery period. While this surgery can help prevent oral health problems…
How Does Gum Contouring Change the Shape of Gums?
Seeing a dental professional for gum contouring is one common solution for improving the appearance of the mouth by removing excess gums or adding tissue. There are several different medical and aesthetic reasons why a person may pursue this route, and some people may combine this procedure with other types of treatments to address issues concerning the health and appearance of the gums. Depending on the structure of the person’s mouth and the location of the gumline, there are several different ways this surgery is used to change the shape of the gums.
When is gum contouring used?
Patients often seek gum contouring in situations where there is too much tissue present when they smile or if the gums are pushed too far up the teeth, causing receding gums. Some people may feel self-conscious due to an uneven gumline. Even if a patient has perfectly straight teeth, issues with the gums can make the teeth appear too short or too long. For some individuals, these problems are genetic. However, using certain drugs or medications, brushing the teeth too hard, and not sufficiently cleaning the teeth can all affect the appearance of the gums.
In some situations, this procedure may be recommended to improve the oral health of a patient. For patients with severe periodontal disease or gingival infections, it may be necessary to remove and replace the affected gum tissue completely. People with longer gums are susceptible to pockets, which are areas where there is extra space between the tooth and the gums. Bacteria can build up in these sections and increase the chance of inflammation or disease. For people with receding gums, the roots of the teeth may become exposed causing sensitivity issues and dental decay.
What is the gum contouring procedure?
Contouring the gums is a rather simple process that often takes an hour or two to complete. The procedure varies depending on the patient’s case.
With gum contouring, the dental professional takes a cutting tool, typically a special laser or scalpel, to cut away excess tissue and to then shape the gums. The laser may also be used to get rid of any gum pockets. For people with receding gums, extra tissue is added and then shaped to restore any tissue that has been lost. Once the reshaping process is completed, the gums are sealed or sometimes closed using stitches.
Most patients experience minor pain and swelling following the surgery, but the level of discomfort depends on how much of the tissue was cut and the individual’s tolerance. While it takes several weeks for the gums to completely heal, a soft diet is often only necessary for the first couple of days following the procedure due to sensitivity.
Whether performed for cosmetic or health purposes, gum contouring is the most common procedure used to address a gummy smile or receding gums. By adding and removing gum tissue where necessary, the dental professional can work with the patient to help them achieve the desired results.
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