ESTHETIC GINGIVAL RECONTOURING: what it is and why you may need it

Gingival (gum) contouring, also known as gingival sculpting, is the process of reshaping the gum tissue around your teeth. If your gums rest too high or too low on your teeth, and you are dissatisfied with your smile, gum contouring surgery may be an option to consider. Also called tissue sculpting or gum reshaping, this cosmetic dental procedure can even out an uneven gum line and provide a smile you can be proud of.

Cause for Uneven Gums

A variety of reasons can cause your gums to be too high or too low. Gums that cover a large portion of your teeth can make your teeth look small. Genetics may be the cause, or a particular health problem, or taking certain prescription drugs.

In contrast, gums that are too high, which make your teeth appear long, are often caused by gum recession, a condition in which gum tissue pulls back from a tooth and exposes the tooth’s root. Not only can gum recession make your teeth look long, it can lead to serious dental problems. These include decay and tooth loss. Gum recession may also be a sign of periodontal disease, the deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums and bone).

Technique Involved:

Periodontists and cosmetic dentists commonly perform gingival sculpting. The minor, in-office gum contouring procedure usually requires only one visit that lasts about an hour. After a local anesthetic is applied to the gums, a soft tissue laser is used to trim away, re-contour and seal the excess gum tissue. There is only minor discomfort and no bleeding or stitches are involved

Recovery and Post-Procedure Care

Typically, minor swelling and discomfort can occur after the procedure. Healing time depends upon the specific type of procedure done, as well as the level of discomfort experienced during recovery.

Generally, healing from gingival sculpting procedures does not require more than one day; however, your dentist may strictly recommend a diet solely of liquids and soft foods for a few days. If your procedure involves bone contouring or grafts, stitches will likely be involved. Consequently, your dentist may restrict your physical activity to avoid any reopening of the surgical area. Your dentist may also prescribe medications, to be taken as instructed, to relieve pain and, if necessary, prevent infection.

Benefits

– Gingival sculpting or crown lengthening is fast, safe and virtually painless. Patients can continue their regular activities immediately following treatment, and the results are permanent.

– The laser gingival sculpting procedure, which seals and sterilizes the treatment area, minimizes inflammation, significantly reduces any chances of infection, and promotes quick healing. Lasers also offer better precision, thus protecting the surrounding tissue from damage during the procedure.

– Gingival sculpting can have social and psychological benefits, such as enhancing your looks and self-confidence. It can thus encourage you to be more socially active and willing to smile more. When you feel happier, you also seem more approachable and friendlier