Tooth Tips for Later Life

Could Gum Contouring Fix Your Gummy Smile?

Also known as gum reshaping, gum contouring is a form of cosmetic dentistry that offers hope to people who have prominent gums. If your gums cover too much of your teeth, you may feel self-conscious when smiling, eating or even simply talking to other people. Using a procedure called gum contouring, a dentist can trim away the excess tissue to leave your smile looking less 'gummy' and more beautiful.

What Does Gum Contouring Involve?

Before starting work on your gums, your dentist will apply a local anaesthetic to your gums to block any pain. He or she will then mark your new gum line using a pen. The dentist will trim away the excess tissue and use a special laser to seal the gum and stop the bleeding. The procedure is very brief and doesn't require general anaesthetic, so you should be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.

Recovery From Gum Contouring

Your gums are likely to be more sensitive than usual after gum reshaping. Avoid irritating them by sticking to soft foods, such as well-cooked pasta, yoghurt, mashed potatoes, stewed vegetables and soups. Remember to let foods cool to a comfortable temperature before you put them in your mouth, and avoid eating anything spicy until your gums feel less sensitive. If your gums are painful, you can take over-the-counter pain medications to help you feel more comfortable.

Avoiding Infection After Gum Contouring

While recovering from gum contouring, you must keep your mouth very clean to prevent infection. Continue to brush and floss your teeth as usual, but use a soft-bristled brush and take care not to apply too much pressure to your sore gums. You can also use mouthwash or a salt water rinse to suppress bacterial growth.

Benefits of Gum Contouring

Gum reshaping can help you feel more confident, which could encourage you to smile more and be less self-conscious when speaking in a group of people. In some cases, gum contouring can also have medical benefits. For example, if your gums have grown over the crown of one of your teeth, gum contouring could allow you to eat without biting down on the gum tissue.

Risks of Gum Contouring

The risks of gum contouring are low. It is possible to develop an infection in your gum after the procedure, but this is unlikely if you keep your mouth as clean as possible. The other main risk of gum contouring is the possibility that your gum tissue may grow back, reversing the effects of the surgery.

Contact a clinic to learn more about cosmetic dentistry procedures you may need.