What Is Gum Contouring?


Cosmetic_DentistryOne of the basic caveats of cosmetic dentistry is that teeth are only the beginning of a beautiful smile. The gum tissues that cover your jaw form a “frame” around the “picture” of your teeth. If they cover too much of your teeth, or not enough, your appearance and self-confidence can be compromised. In some cases, the state of your gum coverage can even impact your oral health.

Here are a few basic facts about gum contouring and its usefulness as a cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Cosmetic Dentistry & Gum Contouring 101

  1. An uneven gum line can have many causes. Gums that cover too much of your teeth can be the result of certain health conditions, taking specific types of medication, and/or the genetic inheritance from your family. If you suffer from your gums not covering enough of your teeth, the cause could be gum recession and/or periodontal disease.
  2. Lasers have made gum contouring a more efficient procedure. Your cosmetic dentistry specialist can reshape your gums by administering a local anesthetic and using a diode laser to sculpt the gum tissue into the desired shape. The laser also cleans gums of bacterial plaque and seals blood vessels as it reshapes them, which aids healing from the procedure.
  3. Gum contouring is not always considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure. If you’re experiencing a lack of adequate gum tissue, the contouring process may be part of a comprehensive plan to treat periodontal disease and be considered a clinical necessity. Check with your insurance provider to determine if the process might be covered by your plan.
  4. After-care for gum contouring is simple. While the use of lasers has made recovery from the procedure more rapid and comfortable, it’s still a good idea to stock up on soft, cool, bland foods such as yogurt and cottage cheese to eat for the first few days after your contouring appointment. Also, maintaining your daily oral health regimen is important, but make sure to brush and floss gently to avoid injuring the treated gum tissue.

“When people think of cosmetic dentistry, they often think only of having their teeth treated,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a practitioner of cosmetic dentistry with an office in central Phoenix. “But procedures such as gum contouring can also contribute to the transformation of your smile.”

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