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Gum Contouring: What to Know

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If you have unusual-looking or uneven-looking gums, then you may want to consider gum contouring. Gum contouring is a procedure with both cosmetic and practical uses. If your gums are otherwise healthy, then contouring can make your gums and teeth look more aesthetically pleasing in a relatively short time. Here is more information about the procedure and risks.

What Does Gum Contouring Do?

Gum contouring involves removing or adding tissue to the gum line to make it look even. It is also known as gum reshaping. For most people, the dentist removes gum tissue to expose more of the teeth. Some people may also need grafting in some places. Most of the time, this is a cosmetic procedure. However, it can have some benefits for people with certain periodontal diseases.

How Do Gums Get Uneven?

Some people have more gum tissue or smaller teeth because of genetics or a medical condition. Other people also have receded gums for the same reason. Chronic gum or teeth problems can cause tissue recession as well. Some medications, such as anti-seizure medications, could cause gum overgrowth over time. As you can see, there are a variety of reasons one would want or need this procedure done.

Is Gum Contouring Different Than Other Gum Surgery?

Gum surgery is an all-encompassing word that includes gum contouring. However, many similar procedures are used for medical reasons. For example, those with severe gum disease or recession may need tissue added and removed to save the teeth and bone. Gum tissue is often removed when someone has large pockets and recurring gum infections. This is a more invasive procedure, but it is sometimes necessary for individuals with severe gum disease or recession,

What Are Gum Contouring's Risks?

All surgery has risks, even surgery without general anesthesia. The good news is most people experience very few problems after gum contouring. You may have some after-procedure pain depending on how much work you had done. Your gums may feel tender and swollen for some time.

Some people have an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic, but this is rare. Let your dentist know about any allergies or problems in the past. Even more rarely, the gums may grow back, especially if the medication caused your condition. The gums can also recede again if you don't remedy the causing conditions.

Gum contouring is a cosmetic surgical procedure. Be prepared for pre-operative and post-operative procedures and care. You may need to eat soft foods and rest for a short length of time to assist with the healing process. Most of these procedures are done in your dentist's or periodontist's office. If the way your gums or teeth look concerns you, talk to your cosmetic dentistry about possible solutions.