When it comes to your oral health, your gums are just as important as your teeth – and you will want to keep them healthy. Over time, however, it is not uncommon for gums to start changing, leaving the teeth appearing long or too short. This can happen for many different reasons, such as gum recession, genetics, decay, medical conditions, or certain medications.
If you are experiencing these changes with your gums, gum contouring is a dental procedure that can help.
Gum Contouring: What is it?
Gum contouring is a common treatment used by dentists for aesthetic purposes – or for treating gum disease.
There are a few cosmetic reasons why patients seek out gum contouring. Most commonly, it is sought for those who have what is often referred to as a gummy smile. This excess gum tissue can be removed, making the smile more beautiful. Another is for treating uneven gum lines that may make the mouth appear asymmetrical. Whatever the reason, many patients find cosmetic gum contouring to be very beneficial.
Addressing gum recession early can reduce the chance for bone loss – and, ultimately, tooth loss. With careful precision, your dentist can restore the receding gums, healing and protecting them from any further damage.
The Gum Contouring Procedure
Gum contouring is an outpatient procedure that can be done using a scalpel or lasers. The difference between the two is the amount of bleeding, the pain involved, and the recovery time. It is no surprise that laser gum contouring is the most commonly used method – and that it offers a much more pleasant overall experience.
During the procedure, a local anesthetic is used as a numbing agent. Then, a laser is used to cut away any excess gum tissue and reshape the gum line. If there are any hollow pockets, the dentist will likely seal them off during the procedure to reduce the chance of it collecting bacteria. And, as blood vessels become exposed, they are closed off by the laser, too.
Does Gum Contouring Hurt?
Whether or not something hurts depends on the person since what may cause pain to one person may not to another. Generally speaking, the gum contouring procedure itself does not hurt at all, thanks to the local anesthetic. The aftermath, though, will depend on the type of procedure used and the amount of gum tissue being removed.
For laser procedures, as the anesthetic begins to wear off after the procedure, you may experience some discomfort or slight swelling, but nothing that can’t be handled with over-the-counter pain medication. This pain is normal and should subside rather quickly.
If you have gum contouring done using a scalpel, as the anesthetic dissipates, you are likely to experience a higher level of pain, swelling, and discomfort, including the sutures that will be throughout your mouth. These, too, should be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Gum Contouring Recovery Time
As you heal, your pain and swelling will start to disappear. Recovery from a laser procedure is rather quick, possibly allowing you to go back to most normal activities within the same day with a few precautions. Scalpel procedures will take longer.
In all, full recovery time for gum contouring can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks – regardless of the method used. Be sure to follow your dentist’s specific instructions for recovery as it pertains to you.
Laser Gum Contouring at Kingwest Dental Studio
If you would like to learn more about gum contouring – or if you’d like to see if you are a good candidate – Kingwest Dental Studio is here to help.
Contact us today at 416-910-1100. Or, book an appointment online.