When most people think of ways they can improve their smiles, the focus is on teeth. There are various orthodontic procedures and devices to straighten teeth, and whitening or having veneers placed can all make a dramatic difference in your overall appearance. But if you're still not happy with your smile, your gums could be at least partially to blame. Gum contouring is a minimally invasive procedure that helps sculpt the gum line around your teeth so it's not distracting from your pearly whites.
If you can see a lot of gum tissue when you smile, contouring can help eliminate the excess so your teeth can shine through. It's not uncommon to have gum tissue growing down over your teeth; it's often just due to a roll of the genetic dice. If you have a gummy smile, you might feel like your teeth look too small or uneven when it's really just the extra gum tissue making it appear that way. You may also notice a lot of gum tissue around one tooth or in one certain area of your mouth, while other teeth or areas look normal. This can lead to the appearance of uneven or mismatched teeth, especially if it occurs around your front teeth that get the most exposure when you smile and talk.
Removing and reshaping gum tissue is typically done with a laser. It's an outpatient procedure with little-to-no recovery time, and you can usually be finished after about an hour in your dentist's chair. Local anesthetic is used to prevent you from feeling any pain during the surgery. Your dentist may advise you to be extra gentle brushing your gums and to only eat soft foods for a few days to avoid irritating the newly exposed tissue.
Sometimes, dentists need to use a scalpel to cut away excess tissue and make sure a patient's gum line is even and revealing the full crowns of the patient's teeth. In these cases, the wounds are sutured closed and there may be a short recovery time during which the patient will be advised to avoid strenuous activity.
Gum contouring is almost always considered a cosmetic procedure, meaning dental insurance doesn't usually cover the cost, so make sure to discuss the treatment plan and associated costs with your dentist before you decide to go ahead with the procedure.
The only way to know if gum contouring is right for you is to consult with a cosmetic dentist. Talk about your concerns regarding your smile and discuss any questions or concerns you have so you can develop a treatment plan together that you'll be happy with.Share
5 December 2017
Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!