Gum Contouring: What It Is and What to Expect

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Dentist checks a patient's gums to prepare for cosmetic gum contouring in Dallas, TX

Gum contouring (also known as gum reshaping or gingivoplasty) is a cosmetic dentistry technique that entails the removal of excess gum tissue by a trained cosmetic dentist. By removing just a small amount of tissue, our cosmetic dentists in Dallas, TX, can help patients reform their gum lines to improve the appearance of their teeth and smiles. 

Do you believe that you could benefit from cosmetic gum contouring? If so, then it’s time to talk to our Dallas dentists at Lakewood Dental Group. We can help you explore all of your cosmetic options at a personalized consultation in our Dallas, TX, dental office. Give our team a ring at (214) 827-1885 for more information and scheduling!

Gum contouring is a relatively painless and simple way to upgrade your smile, elevate your image, and boost your self-esteem. If you’re considering this transformative procedure, then you’ll need to know more about the procedure. In today’s blog post, our Dallas cosmetic dentists tell you what to expect from gum contouring, including how to navigate recovery.

Why would someone want gum contouring?

We get it–the thought of trimming away some gum tissue doesn’t sound very fun. So, why would anyone want to pursue cosmetic gum contouring? Well, there are a couple of reasons why someone might consider gum contouring

One of the most common reasons is to address a “gummy smile.” A gummy smile is a term that dentists use to describe smiles that have low or excess gum tissue. Usually, a gummy smile displays more gum tissue than other smiles.

For some patients, a gummy smile is a source of embarrassment. This is because excessive or uneven gum tissue can affect the appearance of teeth, often making them look misshapen or stubby. As a result, a gummy smile can often make one feel self-conscious, and a gingivoplasty can help restore their confidence. 

But, a gummy smile may affect more than one’s self-esteem. A gummy smile may be a source of pain, too. For some patients, the extra gum tissue can get in the way while eating. This can lead to painful abrasions that may leave the gums vulnerable to oral bacteria. Removing just a little bit of gum tissue can help patients restore comfortable chewing function.

Gum contouring can also be used to address uneven or asymmetrical gum lines. By removing excess gum tissue and reshaping the gums, smiles can appear more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to these cosmetic concerns, patients can also pursue gum contouring to address periodontal disease. In some cases, excess gum tissue can make it difficult to clean your teeth properly, leading to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. By removing the excess tissue, a dentist can improve one’s oral hygiene and reduce their risk of gum disease.

Who qualifies for gum contouring?

In general, cosmetic gum contouring is a safe and effective procedure for most people. However, it is important to discuss your medical history and any existing dental conditions with your dentist before undergoing the procedure. Otherwise, an existing condition may complicate the procedure and recovery process.

As a rule of thumb, you may be a good candidate for gum contouring if you:

  • Have excess gum tissue that is causing cosmetic concerns or affecting your oral hygiene
  • Have a relatively healthy mouth and good oral hygiene habits
  • Are in good overall health and do not have any medical conditions that could increase your risk of complications (like diabetes)

How to Prepare for Gum Contouring

Before undergoing gum contouring, your Lakewood dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. This may include:

  • Stopping certain medications that can increase your risk of bleeding (such as aspirin or blood thinners) days before the procedure
  • Eating a light meal before the procedure and avoiding heavy or spicy foods for the first few days after the procedure
  • Arranging for someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you may feel groggy or disoriented from the anesthesia

It is also important to follow your dentist’s instructions for oral hygiene leading up to the procedure. This may include:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly to remove plaque
  • Using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce your risk of infection
  • Taking oral antibiotics (usually, this is for patients with artificial joints)

Tips and Tricks for Faster Healing After Gum Contouring

After undergoing gum contouring, it is important to take steps to promote healing and minimize discomfort. Some tips and tricks that can help include:

  • Taking pain medication as prescribed by your dentist to manage any discomfort or soreness
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication (like ibuprofen) according to the instructions on the packaging
  • Applying ice packs to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Eating softer foods (such as yogurt, soup, or smoothies) for the first few days after the procedure. Soft, cold foods (like ice cream or shaved ice) can feel nice on sore gums, but be mindful of the amount of sugar being introduced to the oral cavity. Harmful oral bacteria love sugary treats almost as much as we do!
  • Avoiding hot or spicy foods, as well as foods that are hard or crunchy. These foods can irritate the gums, cause pain, and delay healing
  • Rinsing the mouth with salt water several times a day to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection (here is a recipe for making your own salt water solution at home)
  • Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products, as these can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications

It is also important to follow your dentist’s instructions for oral hygiene after the procedure. This may include:

  • Avoiding brushing or flossing the treated area for a few days
  • Gently brushing or flossing the treated area for a few days
  • Using a special mouthwash to help reduce the risk of infection.

Ask Us About Gum Contouring in Dallas, TX

Gum contouring is a safe and effective cosmetic dentistry procedure that can help improve the appearance of gummy smiles and treat gum disease. Are you ready to boost your confidence with gum contouring in Dallas, TX? Contact Lakewood Dental Group online here or at (214) 827-1885 to request more information or appointments.