Gum recontouring is a process that adjusts your gum lines against your teeth. Reasons for the procedure may be that the soft tissues are interfering with the restorative process, causing aesthetic issues, or it may be something entirely different such as gum disease. When this issue occurs, our dental team will perform a treatment that makes a new margin on the tooth without having to worsen your mouth’s health. If your gummy smile is making you feel insecure about your smile, then our periodontists here at Dr. Behnaz Yalda, DMD would be happy to help you determine if gingival contouring is right for you.
Types of Contouring
Cosmetic Gum Recontouring is the contouring of your gums for cosmetic purposes. Maybe you think you have a “gummy” smile or that you think your teeth look short. Maybe one is lopsided, and the gums are uneven. If this is the case, then adjusting the shape and length of your gums with gingival contouring can offer amazing results. When you expose more of your white tooth, it helps your smile and mouth look brighter and healthier.
Therapeutic Gum Recontouring or “crown lengthening” is used when the length of your gums is affecting the rest of your mouth or even your entire body's health. For example, if your tooth needs a crown but is worn down then the dentist can reduce the gum lines so that the tooth is visible above them. It should be noted that this is for restorative purposes which help to limit the use of alternatives such as extraction. Another example of this method of gum recontouring is for patients who have periodontal disease. Dentists call this type of treatment “pocket reduction” because it is done for the purpose of making the depth of your pockets in between and under your gums smaller. By doing so, the area is much easier for the patient to clean by themselves and lowers the chance of disease relapse and extractions.
Another method is called laser recontouring. This is a minimally invasive treatment that uses lasers to do the contouring. The treatment is easy and pain-free, but it should be noted that there will be some sort of numbing used (either a gel or a shot but that is very rare, and the effects of the numbing will only last a few hours). A warm saltwater rinse or pain medication can be used if the patient does feel minor irritation. Furthermore, the use of lasers means that surgery, bandages, or stitches are not needed. This is because the laser gently burns away the tissue, meaning bloody and swollen mouths are no more.
It may take a few days or weeks for your gums to heal completely. Our dentist will give you specific directions about what you need to do to aid the recovery process. You should take actionable steps to maintain your personal oral hygiene. The basic steps include brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal that you eat and coming in for a monthly or quarterly dental checkup as instructed to you. Our professionals might be giving you some added instructions for maintaining your oral health if required.
Gingival contouring can be a fantastic option to help you restore your confidence when you smile. If you would like more information about gingival contouring, please contact Dr. Behnaz Yalda, DMD by calling (240) 831-6001 today.