While some people are lucky enough to have a naturally beautiful smile many of us have cosmetic treatments to improve our smile. Improvements to your smile are not limited to teeth whitening, veneers, composite bonding, straightening- it is also important to think about your gums as they essentially frame and showcase your teeth. Taking good care of your gums is vitally important and this starts at home with regular brushing, flossing and interdental brushes.
Here’s a list of FAQs on gum reshaping & contouring.
Gum contouring is reshaping your gums to make them appear more even or to increase the length of your teeth and this is a cosmetic procedure. Your gums can also be lengthened to cover more of your teeth by grafting tissue from your palate. This can be a cosmetic procedure but is often a procedure to repair gum loss caused by periodontal disease. Our dentists are all able to offer gum contouring and will usually do this with a dental laser. Our specialist periodontist at our Harpenden practice, Dr Mitul Shah, offers both gum contouring and grafting.
Ultimately having gum reshaping is a personal decision but at WaysideDental in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, we find the most suitable candidates are patients who feel their gums are uneven or they cover too much or too little of their teeth. You’ll also need to consider the current state of your teeth and oral health. If you have signs of tooth decay or gum disease then you’ll need to address these dental issues before considering gum reshaping or other cosmetic dentistry.
For a gummy smile we’ll simply remove the excess gum tissue using a laser and then sculpt a new gumline to expose more of your tooth. This is relatively painless and recovery is quick.
Not having enough gum tissue, or gum recession as it’s also known, means your teeth may appear elongated or discoloured. It can also expose your teeth roots to harmful bacteria which can lead to bone loss, tooth decay and gum disease.
In this instance we’ll need to treat the periodontal problem before contemplating any gum grafting. Once any infection is cleared we can address the gum recession by removing gum tissue from another part of your mouth, usually your palate, grafting it on to the receded area and then sculpt and reshape your gumline.
Gum contouring with a laser can be slightly uncomfortable afterwards, however, the laser will reduce pain, swelling and it is so precise that reshaping is less invasive and recovery very quick. Extensive gum contouring and grafting can be painful afterwards, but we will give you aftercare instructions on how to manage the area in the few days following treatment. This will include advice on cleaning and what to eat.
There’s a small chance of infection if your treatment is more extensive, however in most cases healing takes place within a few days following treatment.
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, contact us and book an appointment for a free cosmetic assessment.