Not all people have the same gumlines; some have high, some have low, while some have in between. There are also some gumlines that are uneven. If you ever feel conscious about your gum line, you can consider having gum contouring.
Gum contouring also called gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is one of your treatment options when it comes to reshaping your gumline. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend it, especially if you have an issue concerning your gums that affects your oral health.
However, what exactly does Gum Contouring involve? In this article, we’ll be sharing with you the benefits of Gum Contouring and if it is a safe treatment option or not.
What is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a procedure performed by dentists to reshape or resculpt your gumline. This procedure cuts or removes excess gum tissue around your teeth. In case you have gum recession, this procedure will restore your gum tissue. In many cases, gum contouring is not medically necessary but it’s performed to enhance the appearance of your gums. If you have an issue with your gums that affects your oral health, your dentist may suggest gum contouring.
When is it medically necessary?
Many people opt for gum contouring for cosmetic purposes, but there are also some that get it done for medical necessity. In case you have periodontal disease, gum contouring may be the right procedure for you. However, before proceeding to gum contouring, your dentist will try to treat your gum disease with nonsurgical procedures.
These non-surgical procedures can include antibiotics to kill the bacteria and infection, or dental cleanings to restore your gum’s health. If these non-surgical procedures don’t work, your dentist may suggest a treatment option such as pocket reduction surgery on the gums to save your tooth. You may also need a regeneration procedure to regrow the damaged bones and gum tissue.
Gum contouring may be a part of these procedures and if so, your dental insurance will cover the cost (if it’s considered a medical necessity). You’ll have to consult your dental insurance provider to know what’s covered and if there are other expenses.
What Are the Benefits of Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a transformative procedure that offers many aesthetic benefits. Here are some of the benefits of gum contouring.
- IT REMOVES EXCESS GUM TISSUE
Gum contouring is a treatment option for those people who have excess gum tissue that extends down onto their teeth. By safely removing this gum tissue, your dentist exposes more of the surfaces of your teeth, making them appear longer and more proportional to your smile and other features of your face. Excess gum tissue can make your teeth look dingy, so removing it through the gum contouring procedure might be your best option.
- IT CAN BE USED TO CREATE A MORE EVEN GUM LINE
People who suffer from jagged, uneven gum lines can consider having gum contouring to create more even gum lines. Uneven gum lines make your teeth appear unhealthy or crooked, which can affect your smile. By reshaping your gums through gum contouring, your dentist can fix your smile which is affected by your uneven gum lines.
- RESULTS ARE PERMANENT
Once your excess gum tissue is removed, it does not regenerate. When people undergo gum contouring, they can expect that the results coming from this procedure is permanent. However, patients who had gum contouring should be committed to maintaining their gums clean and healthy for them not to lose further gum tissue to periodontal disease.
- IT IS AN EXTREMELY SAFE PROCEDURE
Gum contouring is a procedure that is considered one of the safest forms of surgery a person can have. There are some risks involving any surgery, but gum contouring has a very low risk of bleeding or infection. Patients must not have any gum disease before having gum contouring surgery. However, if they’re in good oral health before the surgery, and if they’re willing to follow all the post-surgical instructions to be provided to them, the recovery period should be fast and incident-free.
Does gum contouring hurt?
Before your gum contouring procedure starts, your dentist will give you local anesthesia that will numb your gums so that you won’t feel any pain while your dentist is performing the procedure. However, you can expect some tenderness and numbness after the procedure. The amount of pain will depend on how much of your gums need to be reshaped or removed.
After the procedure, your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever, or you can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Aspirin can cause bleeding, that’s why your dentist may not recommend this medication.
You can also minimize the pain and swelling that you might feel through a cold compress or by applying an ice pack (for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time) to your mouth for a few days after having the gum contouring procedure.
How long is the recovery?
Gum contouring procedure involves a small amount of downtime, but complete recovery may take days or weeks, depending on the area covered by the surgery. You might have to avoid some activities for one to two days depending on how you feel and the tenderness that you have.
Your gums and mouth will probably feel sensitive or tender at first, so you’ll have to eat soft goods for about two to three days after having the procedure. Soft foods include:
Your dentist will also provide you with post-surgery dietary instructions and will also inform you about the foods that you should avoid while you’re still recovering.
Usually, you will have a follow-up appointment a few days or one week after having the procedure. Your dentist will check your gums, monitor your recovery, and look for any signs of an infection.
Your dentist may prescribe you an antibiotic mouth rinse to minimize the risk of infection. Increased pain, swelling, and discharge from the gums are some signs of an infection.