What is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is an easy way to achieve a healthy smile you love. Self-esteem shows when you smile and if you do not love your smile, it can impede your confidence. A gummy smile or uneven gum line are reasons to consider gum contouring. Gum contouring is a simple, outpatient procedure performed by either your dentist or periodontist used to correct gum issues.
What is gum recession?
Recession is another gum malady that can be treated with gum contouring. Recession results from infection in the gum pockets causing periodontal disease. Without treatment, recession can lead to sensitivity and bone loss, eventually leading to loose or lost teeth. The build-up of plaque and bacteria in the gum pocket leads to infection making the gums recede from the tooth. Genetics and certain medications can lead to periodontal disease as of course can poor oral hygiene.
What is a gummy smile?
A gummy smile is when the gum tissue covers more tooth structure than normal. Genetics can also play a role in a gummy smile, as can certain prescription medications.
What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring to treat recession will allow your provider to rid the pockets of infection, enabling the gum tissue to heal closer to the tooth surface. Your doctor may use a scalpel, though most now use a soft-tissue laser to reshape the tissue. A topical numbing agent is applied before the local anesthetic is administered. Once you are sufficiently numb, your doctor will begin to reshape your gum tissue, removing excess where necessary. Crown lengthening is another term for gum contouring and is sometimes done to prepare a tooth for certain restorations like a crown (which is placed on the crown of the tooth).
What to Expect After Gum Contouring
Swelling, tenderness and some pain are normal after gum contouring and will subside over a couple of days as you heal. Over the counter pain medications should be sufficient to manage your pain, just be sure you are not taking anything with aspirin which acts as a blood thinner and can cause your surgery site to bleed upon brushing and flossing. Oral hygiene should be done with care, being very gentle at your surgery site. Do not use any mouthwash that contains alcohol, instead use a warm salt water rinse to help keep the area clean.
For a week or two after surgery, you will want to stick to a diet of soft foods. Crunchy or spicy foods will irritate your gums and seeds from foods such as berries and tomatoes can become lodged under the gums and aggravate the area or even cause an infection which will greatly increase your recovery time.
Gum contouring is a relatively simple and quick way to obtain a smile that you love. Speak with your dentist to see if you are a candidate and would benefit from gum contouring. If your dentist does not offer gum contouring, they will be able to refer you to a periodontist that can provide your treatment.
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