Gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, is a dental procedure done to correct an uneven gum line in people who have teeth resting either too high or low on the gums.
The cause of the gums being too high or too low is mainly genetics. It may also be due to certain medical condition or prescription drugs. In some cases, the gum tissue pulls back from the tooth exposing the root and this condition is known as gum recession. Gum recession makes the tooth appear long, lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. This condition may also be the result of periodontal diseases in which the gums and bones start deteriorating.
Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure and is not considered as a medical necessity. This is mainly opted for to improve the smile and look of the teeth. Gum contouring may also be a part of other dental procedures like crown lengthening, pocket reduction and regenerative procedures. This procedure is mainly performed by general dentists and periodontists.
Gum contouring is done in the dental clinic using scalpels, lasers, and radiosurgery. Generally a dentist explains the procedure and show diagrammatically how the new gum line will look like. This will enable the patient to see how much of the gum line would be removed and how it will be reshaped. It is usually done after local anesthesia. In some cases, the bone at the front of the root may also be removed to give a better, long-term result.
It is better to limit the activities and have adequate rest on the day of the surgery. Healing occurs within a few days or weeks.
Some of the tips for an easy recovery include:
- Have an over-the-counter pain medication to relieve the pain. Avoid having aspirin as it may cause bleeding.
- Opt for soft, cool foods such as eggs, pasta, yoghurt, cheese, soft vegetables and ice cream, during the initial days after the surgery. Avoid spicy and hard foods until the gums have healed completely.
- Strictly follow the dentist’s directions about how and when to brush the teeth.
- If there is excessive bleeding or swelling, immediately report to the dentist.
There are some common risks associated with gum contouring:
- Allergic reaction to anesthetic
- Gum swelling
- Gum bleeding
The results of this surgery largely depend on the skill of the doctor. Do a lot of homework regarding the specialist you are going to approach for the work and make sure they have adequate skill and qualification to carry out the procedure.