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Gum Contouring: Reshaping Gums for a Balanced Smile

Smile On Dental Salon and Sleep Apnea Center Blog, Dental Services

Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that can even out an uneven gum line and give you a smile you are proud to share. Here is a detailed look into the procedure, its benefits, and considerations.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring is a dental procedure that reshapes or sculpts the gum line. The process involves cutting away or removing excess gum tissue around your teeth.

Typically, dentists use scalpels or lasers to perform gum contouring procedures. The choice of tools depends on the specific condition of your gums and the dentist’s expertise.

Who Needs Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring is often an excellent choice for individuals who have an uneven gum line or who are unhappy with the appearance of their gums when they smile. Some common issues include:

  • Excessive gum tissue. Often referred to as a “gummy smile,” where a large proportion of gum tissue can be seen above the top teeth when you smile.
  • Receding gums. Where the gum pulls back from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. This is typically caused by advanced gum disease and overly vigorous brushing.
  • Uneven gum line. Where some areas of the gum are higher or lower than others, leading to an asymmetrical appearance. This can often happen after wearing an orthodontic device for prolonged periods.

The Procedure: What to Expect

Before the procedure, you’ll need to attend a dental consultation. Your dentist will discuss your smile goals, check oral health, and take smile photos for a personalized plan. They’ll examine gum-to-tooth ratio, tooth wear, lip position, and bone levels to ensure a balanced, successful procedure.

On the day of gum contouring surgery, the first step involves administering local anesthesia to numb the gums, minimizing discomfort during the procedure. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your provider will:

  • Mark the new gum line using a specialized pen.
  • Remove excess gum tissue using a traditional scalpel or handheld laser, depending on the technique chosen.
  • If necessary, remove small amounts of bone around each tooth. This step is optional for some patients and depends on individual dental anatomy.
  • Reshape the remaining gum tissue to create a balanced and uniform appearance.
  • Apply sutures, if needed, to manage bleeding.

The duration of gum contouring surgery typically ranges from one to two hours, varying based on several factors, such as the number of teeth involved and whether sedation is used.

Benefits of Gum Contouring:

Gum contouring is more than just a cosmetic procedure; it offers several benefits that can enhance your smile and oral health. Discover why many people choose this treatment:

  • Improved aesthetics. Gum contouring reshapes the gum line to reveal more of your teeth, creating a more balanced and attractive smile. A more appealing smile can significantly increase self-confidence, impacting social interactions and professional opportunities.
  • Better oral health. In some cases, removing extra gum tissue can help reduce the depth of gum pockets where bacteria can hide, reducing the risk of periodontal issues.
  • Long-lasting results. For most people, the results of gum contouring are permanent, meaning they won’t need to repeat the procedure.

Maintaining Your New Smile

Post-procedure, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene to ensure lasting results. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. Avoid harsh brushing, and do not snap your floss down onto your gums. Being gentle around the gum line can prevent recession and ensure the longevity of the contouring work.

Call Today for an Appointment

If you are concerned about the appearance of your gums when you smile, contouring can give you the confidence you need to share your smile with the world.

Consult a dental professional at Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center to discuss your specific periodontal needs and expectations.