What Is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring is a dental procedure that can be carried out for cosmetic or dental health purposes. The procedure aims to either reduce gum tissue that's encroaching onto your teeth or repair gum tissue that's receding and leaving the roots of your teeth vulnerable to increased sensitivity and bacterial infection.

Gum Contouring To Reduce Tissue Overgrowth

Gum tissue that encroaches onto your teeth can impact how you feel about the appearance of your teeth and your smile. The extra tissue makes your teeth appear shorter, and when only some teeth are affected by an overgrowth of gum tissue, your gums and teeth can appear uneven. Gum tissue overgrowth won't damage your teeth, so having gum contouring carried out in this situation is purely for cosmetic purposes.

To remove overgrown gum tissue, your dentist will use a handheld laser. As the laser removes excess tissue, it also seals the blood vessels, so there's generally no bleeding and you'll only require a local anaesthetic. It's normal for your gums to feel tender for a few days after this procedure, but you will be left with an even gum line that will allow you to smile confidently again.

Gum Contouring To Address Receding Gums

If your gum tissue is receding and pockets of air are developing between your gums and your teeth, gum contouring can protect your dental health. Air pockets allow bacteria to easily access tooth pulp and roots, and this can lead to dental decay or a painful abscess developing. Gum contouring in this situation will seal off air pockets and protect roots from exposure to bacteria.

To address receding gums, your dentist will pull your gum tissue down over the gaps and suture the tissue in place. When the gum tissue has receded beyond the point of being able to be pulled over gaps, your dentist can take a thin layer of tissue from the roof of your mouth and graft this over air pockets to seal them off and create an even gum line. You can expect to have to eat a soft diet for a few days, and you may require some over-the-counter painkillers, but gum contouring can preserve your dental health for years to come.

Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to spot gum problems early. If you have concerns about the health of your gums, or if haven't visited your dentist for a while, schedule a check-up.

Contact your dentist to learn more.