What is Gum Reshaping?

Gum reshaping is a cosmetic procedure to make your teeth look longer and bigger. Also known as tissue sculpting, it involves trimming excess gum tissue and reshaping the shape of your gum line.

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Excessive gum tissue can expose the roots of your teeth and make them vulnerable to decay. It can be caused by genetics, harsh brushing, or dental diseases.

Benefits

Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that changes the appearance of your gum line. The treatment can make teeth look longer and improve a “gummy smile” or uneven gum line. It is often combined with other procedures to enhance the appearance of your smile, including porcelain veneers and teeth whitening.

The procedure is performed in-office under local anesthesia. Your dentist will use a laser tool that trims and cauterizes the tissue, which reduces bleeding and provides more precision. You may experience some soreness after the procedure, but it will disappear quickly. During recovery, you should eat soft foods such as yogurt, pasta, applesauce and ice cream. You will need to visit the dentist for a follow-up appointment a few days after surgery to ensure that the area is healing properly.

While cosmetic improvements are the primary motivation for many patients seeking gum reshaping, there are some oral health benefits associated with this procedure as well. For example, removing excess gum tissue helps to protect teeth from cavities and reduces the risk of periodontal disease.

Whether you have excessive gum tissue or an uneven smile, Mark Arooni DDS offers gum contouring to give patients a more attractive and healthy smile. The process is painless and quick when performed by an experienced dental professional. To learn more about the benefits of this procedure or to schedule your consultation, call our office today.

Procedure

Gum reshaping is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, but it can be useful for patients suffering from periodontal disease too. Excess gum tissue can trap food particles and make it hard to remove plaque, leading to accelerated tooth decay. In some cases, periodontists can use a soft tissue laser to reshape the gum line and improve the ratio of gum-to-tooth display.

Before the procedure begins, dentists numb the area using local anesthesia to avoid discomfort. They might also provide a list of instructions to help with recovery and pain management after the surgery. They typically recommend sticking to soft foods and avoiding spicy or hot items for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with the discomfort.

After the numbing is done, dentists can begin trimming away excess gum tissue and reshaping the gum line to give a more beautiful smile. They may even remove a small amount of bone to give teeth a more symmetrical appearance. This process typically takes less than an hour and is often finished without the need for sutures or stitches.

Depending on the extent of the reshaping, dentists might schedule follow-up appointments to monitor healing and remove any non-dissolvable stitches. During the healing process, it is important to stick to the recommended diet and take regular oral care to reduce the risk of infection.

Recovery

Gum contouring is an in-office surgical procedure that takes about one hour. Dentists or periodontists perform the procedure under local anesthesia to minimize pain and discomfort. They can add or remove gum tissue, reshape the area, and even graft additional tissue to the gums as needed. They will then reseal the gums. The recovery process is relatively quick and easy. However, some patients may experience mild to moderate pain and tenderness after the surgery. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage pain and swelling. However, aspirin should be avoided because it thins blood and increases bleeding and swelling after gum surgery.

After the surgery, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are encouraged, but you should be gentle since the area is sensitive. Rinses can also be used to clean the mouth and prevent infection. A saline rinse made of a teaspoon of salt and eight ounces of water with a capful of hydrogen peroxide can be especially effective.

Patients should also follow a soft food diet to promote healing. Foods that should be avoided include acidic or spicy foods because they can irritate the gums. In addition, it is important to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol because they can slow the healing process. It is also a good idea to get plenty of rest after the procedure.

Cost

The cost of gum reshaping can vary depending on the amount of work that is needed. During the consultation, your doctor can provide an estimate of what your treatment will entail. Additional costs may include pre-operative consults, X-rays or other diagnostic tests and anesthesia or sedation, if required during the procedure. Post-operative care and prescribed medications should also be factored into your budget.

Because it is a cosmetic surgery, gum contouring is not typically covered by dental insurance. However, if it is used as part of a periodontal surgical procedure like crown lengthening or pocket reduction, then your insurer may cover the associated costs.

Gum reshaping is performed by a dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist (gum specialist). You should ask your doctor about his or her training, certification and experience with this procedure.

During the procedure, your doctor will apply local anesthesia to numb the area. Once you are comfortable, he or she will begin trimming and shaping the excess gum tissue. This can be done with an electro surgical device, a scalpel or a soft tissue laser. Once the procedure is complete, you will likely experience some swelling and discomfort. To relieve this, you can use ice packs or take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen. It may take a few weeks for the recovery to complete.