If your gums are too low or too high above your teeth and you are not satisfied with your smile, you may be a candidate for gum reshaping surgery. Also known as gum reshaping or tissue reshaping, this cosmetic dental procedure can correct an uneven gumline and give you a smile to be proud of. Although this is more of a cosmetic surgery, it is also done to fight periodontal diseases. Let’s take a look at what gum contouring is and whether it might be right for you.
What Causes Irregular Gums?
Many things can cause your gums to be too low or too high. Gums, which cover most of your teeth, can make your teeth look small, often called a “gummy smile”. This could be the result of genetics, a certain health condition, or taking certain prescription medications. Gums that are too high and make your teeth appear long are usually caused by recession, a condition in which the gum tissue recedes from the tooth and exposes the root of the tooth. Gum recession not only makes your teeth look longer, but can also lead to serious dental problems such as decay and tooth loss. Gum recession can also be a sign of periodontal disease, deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums and bone).
Is It A Necessary Surgery?
Gum reshaping is considered a stand-alone cosmetic procedure. Most of the time it is not medically necessary. Most people reshape their gums to improve the appearance of their smile. However, some people undergo this surgery as part of other necessary periodontal procedures such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and regenerative procedures. Gum recession leaves teeth exposed and vulnerable, while pockets that form between teeth provide an ideal place for bacteria to accumulate. Periodontal gingival reshaping removes them and seals the tissue to prevent future problems. Gum reshaping procedures that are not considered cosmetic also include adding gum tissue when recession occurs and trimming the overgrown tissue that covers part of the dental crown.
How is Gum Surgery Performed?
Gum shaping is done in the dentist’s office. Currently, dentists use scalpel, laser and radio surgery to perform the gum shaping procedure. The laser is used to recontour and then close the tissue to create the ideal shape and prevent ongoing bleeding. The dentist can also use the laser to destroy cavities that trap bacteria to prevent future infections. Ask your dentist what technique is most appropriate for your situation. Before surgery, your doctor will review what to do during the procedure. Often times, dentists use a pencil and draw a line to mark the new gum line. This way you can see exactly how much gum will be removed or how the gum line will be reshaped. Local anesthesia can be applied to numb the area. Sometimes, the bone in front of the root of the tooth must also be removed during gingival contouring to achieve the best long-term results.
What is Post-Surgery Treatment?
After reshaping your gums, it’s important to practice good dental hygiene for a few weeks after the procedure. Until the gums are fully healed, daily brushing and flossing may need to be gentler than usual to avoid irritating sensitive tissue. This can cause bleeding and the development of infection. Use a gentle, cleansing mouthwash that kills most germs on contact without causing the alcohol to burn on sensitive gums. You don’t have to settle for the smile you have. Modern dental science offers a wide variety of possible treatments to improve your appearance, confidence and health. Your dentist can help you decide whether reshaping your gums is right for you.