All You Need to Know About Gum Contouring

Sep 01, 2022

An attractive and healthy smile begins with your white pearly whites, but it needs a harmonious relationship between your gums, lips, and teeth. If you want to build confidence through a more beautiful smile, you might think of a cosmetic procedure like gum contouring. Learn more about gum contouring, also called gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, to know if the procedure is right for you.

What is Gum Contouring?

Your dentist performs gum contouring to resculpt and reshape your gum line. This procedure involves cutting away or removing excess gum tissues around the teeth. In case of gum recession, gum contouring helps restore gum tissue.

Gum reshaping procedure is often elective, meaning it isn’t medically necessary. However, it’s commonly done to improve the look of the teeth, smile, and gums. But sometimes, your dentist recommends gum recontouring for oral health reasons.

When is Gum Contouring Medically Necessary?

Although gum contouring is sometimes a medical necessity, it’s mostly done for cosmetic purposes. For example, gum contouring can be a treatment option if you’re suffering from periodontal disease. But your dentist in South Houston will try first to treat the gum disease with nonsurgical options. This might include antibiotics to kill the bacteria and infection or dental cleanings to help restore gum health.

If these options don’t work, your dentist recommends a treatment such as pocket reduction surgery on your gums to save your tooth. Or they recommend a regeneration procedure to regrow damaged bone and gum tissue.

Gum contouring may be part of these procedures. Dental insurance might cover the cost or part if it’s not a medical necessity. You’ll need to speak to a dentist near you to find out what’s covered.

What Does Gum Contouring Involve?

A periodontist or cosmetic dentist normally performs gum contouring in Houston. It’s an in-office process that’s done in one dental visit. In most cases, one remains awake during the procedure. Before your dental professional starts, they’ll administer you local anesthesia to help numb the gum area.

During the contouring procedure, your dentist will use a scalpel or a soft tissue laser to eliminate excess gum tissue and expose more teeth by resculpting the gum line. Sutures might be used to hold the gum tissue in place.

If your gums recede, the contouring process will involve adding gum tissue. First, your dentist removes tissue from another part of the mouth, like the palate. Then, surgery secures the tissue around your teeth to help lengthen and restructure your gum line.

The length of the contouring procedure varies depending on the extent of the gum contouring and the amount of resculpting required. Usually, the gum reshaping procedure takes about one to two hours.

Does Gum Contouring Hurt?

During gum contouring near you, you’ll be provided with local anesthesia before the process starts. This numbs your gums so you won’t feel pain while the dentist works on the mouth. But you’ll expect some numbness and tenderness afterward.

The discomfort depends on how much of your gums must be removed or reshaped. After the procedure, your dentist will prescribe a pain reliever, or you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. However, since aspirin may cause bleeding, your dentist may discourage this medication.

You can also minimize swelling by applying a cold press or an ice pack to your mouth for a few days after the process. After that, it’s best to use the compress for 15-20 minutes.

How Long is Gum Contouring Recovery?

The gum contouring procedure takes about two hours, but complete healing might take days or weeks, depending on the extent of the treatment. You will have to limit some activities for two days based on how you feel and any tenderness you may have.

Since the mouth and gums are likely to feel tender or sensitive at first, you’ll have to eat soft foods for 2-3 days after the surgery. These foods include yogurt, soup, and applesauce. Your dentist will give you post-surgery dietary instructions.

You’ll have a follow-up appointment a few days or weeks after the surgery. Your dentist in Cabrera Dental Associates will check your gums to evaluate how you’re healing and look for signs of an infection. The dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to reduce the disease risk.

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