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Gum Contouring 101: Everything You Need to Know

Feb 01, 2021

We all have different gum lines; some are high and others low or uneven. The gum positioning is not a dental problem unless it is caused by decay. However, it may cause you to be conscious of your smile. If you want to change the shape of your teeth, then you are a candidate for gum contouring.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring, gingival sculpting, or gingivoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves reshaping the gum line. The dentist cuts away or removes excess gum tissue around the teeth to improve your appearance.

Is it Necessary?

For the most part, gum contouring is an elective cosmetic procedure. Most people who seek this treatment, do so to improve their smile. However, a dentist near you may recommend gum contouring as part of your treatment.

As mentioned, gums can be high or lower making the teeth look short or longer. The gums that are high up the teeth are mostly due to genetics. When the gums are low, it could be because of dental decay. Our dentist in Boynton Beach may recommend gum contouring as part of your periodontal treatment.

It is important to have these gums corrected because when the gums lie low, they could expose the roots. This will cause decay and bone damage.

How is it Performed?

Gum contouring procedure is done by a cosmetic dentist or periodontist in one dental visit.

Mostly the procedure is done under local anesthesia, although the dentist may use dental sedation if you have a phobia.

The dentist will use scalpels or lasers to remove the excess gum tissue and reshape the gum line to expose more teeth. Sutures are at times used to hold the tissue in place.

If the gum line is caused by the recession, the dentist will do a tissue graft to add more tissue to the affected area. Tissue grafts stimulate new tissue growth and help close the spaces of the exposed teeth.

At times, the dentist removes part of the tooth’s root to provide effective long-lasting results.

The length of the procedure will vary based on the amount of reshaping needed. But, generally, the procedure can take one to two hours.

What Can You Expect After the Procedure?

As the local anesthesia begins to wear out, you’ll experience pain and discomfort. You should limit any activities 24 hours after the surgery. It may take a few days for the gums to heal as long as you follow the post-care instructions given by the dentist. Here are some general tips to help hasten the process:

  • Take the pain relievers as directed by the dentist to get rid of the pain.
  • Eat soft foods in the first few days after the surgery to give your gums time to rest. Avoid taking spicy and hot foods until the gums are healed.
  • Follow your standard dental procedure, but consult the dentist on the proper way to go about it.

You may experience bleeding and swelling following the procedure. These usually clear out after some time. But, if the bleeding does not reduce, visit the dentist for an assessment.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

Just like any other surgery, gum contouring has some risks. The most common ones include allergic reactions and relapse of the gum tissue. Relapse occurs when the excess tissue grows back or you get dark pigmentation.

There may also be a longer healing time, especially if bone tissue is removed during the procedure. Sometimes, you may experience tooth sensitivity if the root of the tooth is exposed. If you have a sensitivity that lasts for longer, visits the dentist for assessment and treatment.

What is the Cost of Gum Contouring?

Because the gum contouring is done for cosmetic reasons, the procedure is not covered by dental insurance, unless the procedure is done as part of oral treatment. The cost will vary depending on the amount of gum tissue restored or removed. On average, the cost may range from $50 to $350p per tooth.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Quantum Dental for more information on the gums contouring procedure, and the total cost of the treatment.

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