Have you ever been teased about having a ‘horsey’ smile? Do you avoid smiling because you feel your gums are too large? Gum contouring is a cosmetic dentistry option that may be able to help you. This treatment makes it possible to reshape your gum line in a way that improves your smile. Some patients seek this treatment due to an abundance of gingival tissue that gives the impression of small teeth. By eliminating the excess gum tissue, contouring can adjust your smile to better balance gum and tooth appearance.
Understanding Gum Contouring And What It Can Do For You
Gum contouring has become a fairly routine procedure in the past couple of decades. Removing the gum tissue is accomplished with one of two procedures. The first involves the use of a small scalpel and stitches to help seal the wound. The second option involves using a laser that burns away the excess tissue while cauterizing the wound. The latter is generally preferred and has the benefit of being less painful and healing more quickly.
Gum shaping and gum contouring are two terms that refer to the same procedure. Some dentists may make a distinction between the two. If they do, the former refers to procedures involving a scalpel, while the latter refers to a laser-assisted procedure. Regardless of the term used, the same result is reached—a beautiful new smile with less pronounced gums.
Following the procedure, you’ll need to take care to help yourself heal properly. You will experience some measure of swelling and tenderness after the procedure. This side-effect will generally be more pronounced when the scalpel method is used. Easing both swelling and pain can be accomplished by applying ice and OTC NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
While you’re healing, you’ll need to avoid foods with sharp edges, sticking to softer foods. Ice cream, soups, yogurt, and puddings will be good options for the first couple days. If the procedure were performed with a scalpel, a follow-up visit would be necessary. Your dentist will ensure that you’re healing correctly and inform you to go back to your everyday habits during this visit. They will sometimes prescribe an antibiotic to manage any infection risks.
Your dentist will provide guidance on dental hygiene practices to follow while you’re healing. If you’re told you can brush, it’s best to do so with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Even so, it would benefit you to take care to brush gently.
Get More Information About Gum Contouring From Your Dentist
If you’re considering this procedure, it’s time to reach out to your dentist. They’ll be able to lead you with the best guidance on how to proceed. Most patients with good oral health will be able to benefit from this procedure. Like any surgical cosmetic dental procedure, you should take extra pains to avoid tooth decay and gum disease before having it done. Your dentist may require you to eliminate both of these conditions before undergoing this procedure. Contact your dentist to learn more.