Gum Recontouring

A gum recontouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that raises and shapes the gum line so that it looks neater and in proportion to the teeth.

How gum recontouring is done?

The dentist will use scalpels, lasers, and radiosurgery to perform the gum contouring procedure and is largely a pain-free procedure. It is normally completed in one or two visits to the dentist.
Before surgery, the dentist will examine the gum and mark the new gum line. A local anesthetic might be applied to numb the area. In some cases, the dentist will remove some bone from the top of the teeth during gum contouring to stop the gums from growing back. Laser is usually used to recontour and then seal the tissue to create the perfect shape and prevent ongoing bleeding. The dentist can also use the laser to remove hollows that trap bacteria to prevent future infections. The cost of the gum recontouring depends on the extent of the job.

Causes of Uneven Gums

The patient’s gums might be too low or too high due to a number of reasons. Gums that cover a large portion of the patient’s teeth can make the teeth look small. This may be the result of genetics, a specific health problem, or taking certain prescription medicines.
Gums that are too high and make the patient’s teeth appear long are often caused by gum recession. Gum recession is a condition in which gum tissue pulls back from a tooth leading to serious dental problems such as decay and tooth loss. It may also be due to some periodontal disease.

Need for Gum Contouring Surgery

Gum contouring alone is considered a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of smile. But, some people go through gum contouring surgery as part of other necessary periodontal procedures, such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and regenerative procedures. It may also be medically necessary to add gum tissue when gum recession has occurred and trim tissue when it has overgrown and cover part of the tooth crown.

Recovery after Gum recontouring surgery

Proper rest should be observed on the day of surgery. Gums might take a few days or weeks to heal completely. The gums will probably feel sore, tender and inflamed for a few days. Here are some general tips to aid the recovery process:

  • The dentist might prescribe an over-the-counter pain reliever to be taken to ease pain.
  • Eat soft, cool foods and avoid spicy foods for the first few days after surgery.
  • Follow the dentist's guidelines on how and when to brush your teeth during the healing process. Daily brushing and flossing may need to be more gentle than usual to avoid bleeding and the development of infection.
  • People who smoke need to abstain from smoking since this will slow the healing process.
  • If there is excessive swelling or bleeding in the gums, the dentist will have to be informed.

The Risks of Gum Contouring
As with all surgery gum contouring has also certain risks, which include:

  • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic
  • Relapse of gum tissue

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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