Gum Contouring (also called Tissue Sculpting or Gum Reshaping) is a cosmetic dental procedure that can correct an uneven gum line so you'll be more confident each time you show off your pearls. If you're not happy with your smile, even if your teeth look just fine but because your gums are either too low or too high on your teeth, you may undergo this procedure.
Why is my Gum Uneven?
There are a number of factors that may bring about uneven gums.
Overcovering or Swollen Gums
- Gums that are covering excessive amount of teeth may be genetic.
- Swollen gums may be caused by a health problem, such as malnutrition or gingivitis.
- Taking some prescription drugs may also be a reason.
On the other hand, gums that are too high are often caused by gum recession. This is a condition wherein the gum tissue is pulled back from a tooth. This exposes the root of the tooth, making it look longer than it should.
- Gum recession can lead to severe dental problems like tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Gum recession may also signify an underlying condition like periodontal disease, which happens when the supporting structures of teeth such as the gums and bones deteriorate.
Is This Procedure Necessary?
Since it's a cosmetic procedure, you know that it's not usually medically necessary. People who have their gum sculpted and evened out do this to improve their physical appearance. However, there are few cases when gum contouring is necessary. It may be a part of treatment for periodontal procedures like:
- pocket reduction
- crown lengthening
- regenerative procedures
General dentists and periodontists may perform this procedure.
How Much does it Cost?
The cost of the procedure depends on the extent of work required. Some cases require more extensive procedure than others. It's imperative that you talk to your dentist first regarding the cost so you don't get surprised at the end when the price turns out to be exorbitant. Remember also that dental insurance doesn't cover gum contouring that is not medically necessary.
What Should I Expect?
This surgical procedure may be performed in the dentist's office.
Dentists would perform this procedure using:
Ask your dentist to find out which technique would be used and why this is the most suitable for your situation.
Before the surgery, the dentist will explain to you the process and draw a line to show the new gum line.
During the surgery:
- He/she may use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
- In some cases, the bone at the front of the tooth's root needs to be removed during the surgery to achieve the best results.
After the surgery:
- Eat soft foods and avoid spicy ones.
- You should rest and limit activities.
- Do not take aspirin. This can cause bleeding.
- Recovery may take from a few days to a few weeks.
- You may ease pain by taking over-the-counter pain medications like Advil or Tylenol.
- The dentist will give you instructions for the things you need to do during the recovery process.
- Call your dentist in case there is excessive bleeding after the surgery.