Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. Everyone’s teeth, gums, and lips are all uniquely shaped and come together to define the smile you share with the world around you. The keyword to remember here is “unique.” In some cases, a surgical procedure known as gum contouring may be used to improve your smile by altering your gum line. The procedure is aimed to help improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Too Much or Too Little
When it comes to your gums, there can be such a thing as too much or too little gum. Some individuals have a naturally high lip line, which exposes more of their gums; however, there are other medical reasons which can cause your gums to swell or grow abnormally. If you don’t keep up with your oral hygiene, excessive bacterial growth in your mouth can cause your gums to swell and become larger than normal. Too much gum can also be the result of a condition known as a passive eruption. Individuals with this condition have permanent teeth which do not fully protrude from the gums, resulting in a smile which presents with a lot of gum while the teeth appear smaller than usual.
Alternatively, some individuals may have too little gum. A receding gum line can be problematic because the roots of your teeth begin to be exposed. These exposed roots can become host to bacteria and plaque. Additionally, a receding gum line can result in teeth that look longer and larger than average and cause the teeth to become discoloured. A receding gum line can be caused by aggressive brushing of the teeth, which can push your gums upwards. In some cases, gum disease can cause your gums to begin receding, and in other cases, an individual’s genetics can dictate the positioning of their gum line.
What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring, also known as aesthetic gingival recontouring, is a surgical procedure used to correct excessive growth of gum tissue. A laser or a scalpel is used to reshape your gum line so that it appears more uniform. Your dental surgeon will add gum tissue to places where your gums have receded, and they will trim gum tissue in areas where your gums have overgrown and covered parts of your teeth. In order to treat gum recession, gum tissue from the patient may be taken and grafted in the area requiring more gum tissue; this grafting procedure usually requires longer healing time.
Overall, your gums will take a few weeks to heal after the surgery, during which you should refrain from activities including smoking, consuming alcohol, or using a straw. Gum surgeries may cause minor swelling or sensitivity in your teeth; however, these symptoms are all temporary and will disappear as your new gum line heals. Over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol can be taken as directed by your dental surgeon for pain relief post-surgery. It is also advisable to eat softer and cooler foods such as yogurt, ice cream, eggs, and soft vegetables for the few days following your surgery, and avoid spicy foods or foods with seeds until the gums have completely healed. If you carefully follow all the instructions provided to you by your dental surgeon and keep up with your oral cleaning routine, your gums will heal quickly and thoroughly, and you will be able to enjoy your new smile in no time.
Why is gum contouring performed?
It’s important to keep the roots of your teeth covered and protected from harmful bacteria build-up, which can eventually lead to tooth decay. In some cases, gum contouring may be performed for cosmetic purposes. Individuals with a more gummy smile may require some surgical assistance to help expose their teeth and improve their smiles. However, to reshape your gum tissue to provide coverage for the roots of your teeth is no longer a cosmetic procedure, and a gum contouring surgery may even be encouraged. In most cases, gums that have been reshaped are generally healthier than gums that have not. During the reshaping procedure, the depths of the spaces between the teeth and gums become shallow. The shallow areas can be reached more easily by a toothbrush and, therefore, remain cleaner.
How much does gum contouring cost?
The cost associated with gum contouring can vary depending on the amount of work required to be done, the number of teeth requiring contouring, and the rates in your local area. Your dental insurance may be able to cover some of the cost of contouring if the surgery is determined to be medically necessary by a dental professional. However, in most cases, gum contouring is considered cosmetic or elective surgery and, therefore, may not be covered by your dental insurance. We recommend discussing your options with your dentist.
Are there any risks of gum contouring?
No surgical procedure is without its share of risks; however, in the case of gum contouring, there are minimal risks involved. During the surgery, your dental surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb your gums. One possible risk associated with gum contouring is an allergic reaction to the anesthetic. Another risk is the possibility of your gum tissue relapsing to its former position.
If you want to learn more about gum contouring and decide whether it’s the right decision for you, click here to read more.
As with any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to trust the surgeon performing your procedure and feel satisfied before making your decision. At Bristol Dental Clinic, we offer a wide variety of oral surgery treatments performed by dental surgeons you can trust. If you are unhappy with the way your smile looks and are interested in gum contouring, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 905-712-3409 or click here to learn more about our services and book an appointment today. We change lives, one smile at a time.