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Is Gum Contouring Right for You?

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Is Gum Contouring the Right Procedure for You?

If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks and want to give it a makeover, your teeth may not be the problem. If you find that your gums are showing too little of your teeth or too much, Gum Contouring may be the right procedure for you. Gum Contouring is a surgical procedure that can improve the health of both your teeth, gums and improve the appearance of your smile.

Too Much Gum Tissue Showing

Having a “gummy” smile can be from a few different factors. It can stem from a naturally occurring high lip line, bacterial infection, poor oral care and can grow abnormally large as a side effect of certain medications. Another reason you could have too much gum in your mouth is if you have a condition known as altered passive eruption which can prevent permanent teeth from fully protruding. This excess gum tissue could leave your teeth looking tiny making it so when you smile people see more gum than teeth.

Too Little Gum Gum Tissue

Having too little gum tissue can be a major issue. It can cause your teeth to look both elongated and discolored. If you have receding gums, it can expose the roots of your teeth to be exposed to harmful plaque and bacteria. Gum loss can also be the symptom of a different problem which is bone loss. Receding gums could be affecting your whole mouth or just be affecting a few teeth. The three leading causes of receding gums are overzealous or rough toothbrushing, genetics, and periodontal (gum) disease.

If you find that having too much gum or too little is affecting you, gum contouring may be right for you.

The Procedure

The procedure for Gum Contouring may vary, but most of the time can be completed in one visit. Recovery time can take up to six weeks but is mostly very brief as your gums heal very quickly.

Young Asian woman looking at her teeth in the mirrorIf you have an overgrowth of gum tissue your dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist will use local anesthetic and a laser scalpel to reshape your gum line, making it more uniform. Reshaping your gums will make your mouth healthier as it will reduce the spaces between the gums and teeth will become shallower making them easier to brush. The healing time for this procedure is usually uneventful and can take a few weeks.

The treatment for gum recession can usually be accomplished by grafting the patient’s own gum tissue from a nearby tooth or part of the palate. Other surgeons will use highly processed and sterile donor tissue. Besides improving your appearance increasing the size of your gums will protect the roots of your teeth from tooth decay. This surgery’s recovery time is a bit longer and can take up to six weeks.

If you think gum contouring is right for you, talk to either your dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist about ways to proceed.

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