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Gum Contouring

There’s more to a beautiful smile than sparkling, white teeth. An attractive smile also has healthy gum tissue symmetrically draped around each tooth. The edge of the gum should be the same height for the two front teeth and for the canines (the long, pointed teeth near the front of the mouth). The gum tissue surrounding the incisors (located next to the front teeth) should be 1 to 1 ½ millimetres lower than the other teeth. This gum line is important to the overall appearance of your smile. Just as you can shape a fingernail, you can shape your gums to create a balanced, beautiful smile. Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure for reshaping your gums and is easily performed at a dental clinic. 

How do you know if you need gum contouring?

You are a candidate for gum contouring if:

  • Your gum tissue is not symmetrical.
  • One or more teeth look longer than the others.
  • Your teeth appear to be too short.
  • Too much gum tissue shows when you smile.
  • You have a condition called altered passive eruption, your permanent teeth never fully protrude leaving teeth tiny looking and partially hidden by your gum tissue.
  • You wish to improve the appearance of your smile.

What causes an undesirable gum line? 

An uneven gum line can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Particular health problems
  • The use of certain prescription drugs
  • A condition called altered passive eruption, when permanent teeth never fully erupt

How is gum contouring done? 

 Gum contouring is a simple, quick and safe dental procedure and can usually be done in one office visit. The only known risks are a rare allergic reaction to the anesthetic and the recurrence of gum growth. The dentist will take care to expose more enamel without exposing the roots of your teeth. The results of gum contouring are immediate and can be very dramatic! 

  • You receive a local anesthetic to numb the gums.
  • Over the next 5 minutes, you begin to lose feeling in the area though you’ll feel pressure and movement. 
  • A soft tissue laser is used to trim the excess gum tissue and shape the gum line.
  • The laser is then used to seal the tissue and prevent bleeding.
  • After your treatment is complete, your mouth slowly regains feeling. This usually takes several hours.

Recovering from gum contouring surgery:

It will take 1 to 2 weeks for your mouth to heal fully after having your gums reshaped. In the meantime:

  • Rest and limit your activities for a day or two after your surgery.
  • Ease pain with an over-the-counter pain medication.
  • For a few days, eat soft, cool foods such as eggs, pasta, yogurt, cottage cheese, and soft vegetables. 
  • Avoid spicy foods and food with seeds until your gums are completely healed.
  • Floss and brush daily, very gently.
  • Use an alcohol free mouthwash.
  • For a few days, avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and using a straw.
  • If you notice excessive swelling or bleeding, call your dentist. 

An attractive smile raises self-esteem, improves confidence and benefits mental health. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, there is no need to “just live with it.” Modern dental science offers a wide range of possible treatments to improve the appearance and health of your teeth and gums. You can achieve beautiful, white teeth and pink, well-contoured gum tissue. Your dentist can help you decide if gum reshaping is right for you. 

For all your dental needs, questions, and concerns call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.

New Patients: (587) 317-7959
Existing Patients: (587) 353-5060
Email: info@centennialsmiles.ca

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