Gum contouring is a procedure that can improve the appearance of your smile. Some types of gum contouring can also improve your dental health. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons to consider this procedure, so you can decide whether it is right for you.
What is Cosmetic Gum Contouring?
Sometimes called gum reshaping, cosmetic gum contouring trims away gum tissue to create a more attractive smile. You might choose to have this procedure if your gums are uneven. Some people also choose gum reshaping when their gums cover a large part of their teeth. This condition can occur naturally or as a result of taking certain prescription medications, including some drugs that doctors use to treat seizures, heart conditions, and immune conditions.
What is Medical Gum Contouring?
In some cases, gum contouring is medically necessary. In people with gum disease, pockets can develop between teeth, which creates a space in which bacteria can multiply. Medical gum contouring removes these pockets and seals up the tissue to keep out bacteria.
Before carrying out a gum contouring procedure, a dentist or periodontist will use local anesthetic to numb your gums. The dentist may then use a pen to mark the position of your new gum line.
Dentists can use scalpels to carry out gum contouring. However, a more modern technique is to use a laser to trim away gum tissue. When the gums are the right shape, the dentist can use the laser to seal the tissue. This stops bleeding and creates a seal to keep bacteria out of your gums.
In some cases, dentists may need to remove a small amount of bone from around the root of the tooth along with the gum tissue. This technique helps to prevent gum tissue from growing back to its original position, giving you a longer-lasting effect.
After gum contouring, it is important to treat your gums with care. They will be sensitive for a few days, so you need to eat only soft foods, such as yogurt, pasta, and well-cooked vegetables. Don’t eat anything too hot or spicy. Be very gentle when brushing and flossing to avoid irritating the sensitive gum tissue. You can keep your mouth clean by using a gentle mouthrinse to kill bacteria and prevent infection.
Can You Carry Out Gum Contouring Yourself?
You should never try to carry out gum contouring yourself. Cutting or pushing at your gums is likely to make them very sore and could put you at risk of infection.
Do You Need Gum Contouring?
If you are unhappy with the shape of your gums, talk to your dentist to find out whether gum contouring could be a good option for you. Alternatively, your dentist or periodontist may tell you that you need gum contouring as part of your treatment for gum disease. In either case, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the procedure so you know exactly what to expect.