Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure in which the natural gum line is altered by a trained dentist to create a more aesthetic, symmetric smile.
If your gums have always bothered you and made you feel less than confident about your smile, whether it’s because you feel like you have a gummy smile, uneven gums or receding gums, then you might be interested in learning more about gum contouring.
If you’ve always wondered about the procedure, but are uncertain if it’s for you, read on to learn more.
Is a Gummy Smile Bothering You?
Many people feel self-conscious about smiling widely because of a gummy smile. A gummy smile is one in which the gums are especially evident, creating the appearance of small teeth. Some people have smiles that are naturally gummy and others struggle with poor oral care or tooth decay, both of which can lead to swollen gums.
The negatives associated with a gummy smile are cosmetic and depend upon how the individual feels about their gums and their smile can lead to less confidence. Generally speaking, any smile in which the gum extends more than one-eighth of an inch into view is considered gummy.
Do You Have Receding Gums?
Maybe a gummy smile isn’t your problem. Maybe the opposite is true when it comes to your mouth. Gum recession is another reason that patients look to gum contouring. Receding gums tend to expose the teeth’s roots, making the teeth appear extra long.
Exposed roots of teeth are vulnerable to plaque and bacteria.
Receding gums can also become an issue when it comes to supporting the teeth. Loss of gums often goes hand in hand with bone loss. A patient might have one or two teeth with a receding gum line making the gum line uneven and less attractive.
What Is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that your dentist performs to correct overgrown gum tissue. They can also treat gum recession through grafting of the patient’s gums by using the gum tissue from other teeth.
In a typical visit with Dr. Eshom for gum contouring, local anesthetic and laser are used together to shape the gum line into a more symmetrical, appealing appearance. Laser methods are most often relied upon these days over using scalpels for their precision and quicker recovery times. Be sure to ask your dentist what methods they use, as the laser technology typically yields the safest and best results.
With gummy smiles, sometimes simple contouring doesn’t do enough, so your dentist might decide to opt for crown lengthening as well. This is where small portions of the gum are removed along with the underlying bone to change the shape of teeth altogether. This type of can be done with Dr. Eshom’s Waterlase laser.
Who Qualifies for Gum Contouring?
Any patient who wants to improve their smile and feels unhappy with their current gum line can be a candidate for gum contouring treatment. It’s important to keep in mind that the effects of this procedure are permanent, so having clearly defined expectations ahead of time is essential along with a credentialed cosmetic dental expert like Dr Eshom.
You and your dentist should thoroughly discuss your hopes and expectations for your smile and whether or not those expectations are realistic.
If you currently have any problems with gum disease or tooth decay, these issues will need to be resolved first before you can proceed with a gum contouring treatment. Good oral hygiene is crucial to maintaining the results of your treatment. Future gum disease can lead to inflamed gums or receding gums if proper care isn’t taken to keep your mouth healthy.
Will It Be Painful?
Many patients, knowing how sensitive their gums are, become concerned with the pain associated with undergoing gum contouring. It’s true that gum surgery used to be quite painful. But the good news is, with modern laser technology, gum surgery is now a largely pain-free procedure and minimally invisive.
The laser seals up wounds naturally as it cuts the gum line, so there’s no excess bleeding, no open wounds to deal with, and no need for stitches.
Granted you will experience some mild discomfort following your procedure due to tender, sore gums. But the recovery times aren’t long (2-3 days), do not effect your work or weekend activities, and an over-the-counter painkiller usually does the trick for alleviating any pain.
Since a local anesthetic is all that’s required, there’s no need for patients to be put to sleep. Gum contouring is a simple, straightforward procedure that experienced dentists, like Dr. Eshom, perform regularly and with high satisfaction rates among their patients.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Depending on what your individual lase gum surgery was like, you are only asked to keep away from eating hard things like apples and carrots so nothing slides up into the gum area to irritate the new gum lines. The gum line turns red and then turns pink and healthy in 2-3 days. That is what is great about laser gum surgery. These symptoms will fade away as your gums heal completely.
Your dentist will likely ask you to refrain from activities such as smoking or drinking alcohol during recovery. You’ll also be encouraged to use a straw for all other beverages in the meantime.
Make certain to follow your dentist’s instructions when it comes to brushing or flossing with your new gum line. You’ll need to take it easy those areas for those first days especially since the area will be extra sensitive.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you’re curious if you’d make a good candidate for gum contouring, but you have additional questions about the procedure or what you can expect, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule a consultation.
Dr. Eshom is a credentialed cosmetic with over 30 years of experience in the art of crafting healthy and beautiful smiles. Our team will go above and beyond to answer all your questions and help you achieve the smile you’ve always hoped to have. We understand just how impactful a happy, healthy smile can be for our patients.
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