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What is Gum Contouring?

What is Gum Contouring?

Everyone wants a bright, healthy, even smile, which comes from a perfect relationship between teeth and gum line, and this is now possible with the help of a cosmetic procedure called gum contouring.

Although this is often performed for purely cosmetic purposes, to improve the appearance of the gums and the teeth, it is also a periodontal treatment to combat unhealthy gums, gingivitis and receding gums.

This revolutionary procedure is generally safe for most. However, it is always advisable to seek expert help from someone like Portobello Dental Clinic, who can advise on how it could benefit you.

How gum contouring can help

Cosmetically, gum contouring helps to reshape the appearance of the gums in relation to the teeth, having good results with misshapen teeth or teeth which sit low in the gum line. If the gum tissue has been subject to infection or damage at any time, it can be removed or reshaped to help promote recovery and help make the teeth not only more aesthetically pleasing but also more secure within the gums.

The main goals of gum contouring 

There are several goals that can be reached with gum contouring, including:

To balance the gum line.

Some people have gums which appear too high or too low, and this can make the teeth appear either too long or too small. Either of these can cause a self-conscious reluctance to smile or laugh. Gum contouring can be used to even out an uneven gum line and create a more harmonious balance between teeth and gums.

Reduce excess gum tissue

In some cases, people have what appears to be excess gum tissue, which covers the upper part of their teeth, making the teeth appear smaller. Gum contouring is a gentle way of removing this excess tissue to expose a greater part of the surface of the teeth and create a more balanced smile.

To correct a ‘gummy’ smile

One of the biggest complaints dentists hear from clients is that of the ‘gummy’ smile, which is one in which a significant portion of the gum line is on show when they smile and is one which causes a great deal of self-consciousness or embarrassment.  Gum contouring is the ideal method to reduce the visibility of the gums and create a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

To correct receding gums

With receding gums, the teeth can appear too long with often exposure of the root, which sometimes can be prone to discolouration. Exposure of the roots of the teeth can eventually lead to damage from harmful bacteria and plaque, which can cause tooth decay and loss of bone. Receding gums can be genetic but can also be caused by overzealous brushing or periodontal disease. Your dentist will take steps to treat any infection before beginning a procedure to reshape your gums by, if necessary, removing tissue from elsewhere in the mouth and grafting it to the area where the gums have receded to help reshape and even out the gum line.

How is gum contouring done, and is it painful?

The procedure may involve the use of lasers or traditional surgical techniques, depending on your particular circumstances. Your dental surgeon will discuss this with you beforehand. The areas to be worked on will always be anaesthetised first so that you won’t feel any pain at all during the procedure. You may feel a small amount of discomfort during and after the procedure, but this will be minimised. Regular painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol will help with any discomfort in the days afterwards.

Full healing usually takes around 1-2 weeks and throughout this time, you will be advised to avoid food and drinks such as alcohol, spicy foods and anything which could get stuck between the teeth. Soft food like yoghurt, soup, pasta and eggs are recommended.