Gum Shaping: What It Is and Is It the Option for You
Gum shaping is a cosmetic procedure that changes the shape of your gums. It is also known as gum contouring, gingival sculpting, or gingivoplasty. Dental specialists use this procedure to chip away or add tissue to the gums. This aims to fix a smile termed too ‘gummy,’ which gives the appearance of having smaller teeth or restore receded gum tissue that shows a large part of your teeth.
Do I Need Gum Shaping?
The decision to alter the appearance of our gums largely depends on how you feel. If your gums are unevenly shaped, cover a large area or a little part of your tooth, you may consider the procedure to broaden your smile.
Despite having a reputation as a cosmetic dentistry procedure, gum shaping can be done for medical reasons. This is known as periodontal gum contouring. High gums may be a result of gum recession. It is whereby gum tissue pulls away from a tooth. This condition can snowball into teeth, roots, and jawbone problems like decay.
Gum recession is caused by:
- Gum disease
- Excessive brushing
In this case, Gum contouring and grafting can be medical solutions to restore your gums. The dentist will seal the tissues to stop bleeding and prevent bacteria from gathering in the spaces, minimizing future infections.
What to Expect
A periodontist or a cosmetic dentist does the procedure in one visit, and it takes about one to two hours. Since gum shaping can be painful, the dentist will administer a mild anesthetic to reduce the discomfort. This sedative doesn’t induce sleep. The level of pain is determined by how much gum is cut away, shaped, grafted, and the clinical tools used.
The tools utilized currently include scalpels and lasers. These are used for crown lengthening, which is removing excess gum tissue and resculpting the gumline. Sutures are also used to hold the tissue in place.
In repairing receded gums, the dentist will extract tissue from a different part of the mouth, such as the roof. Then they attach the tissue to your teeth, thus lengthening the gums. Your dentist will schedule a follow-up visit in a few weeks to examine the gums and determine if they are healing correctly.
How Much Time Does It Take to Recover?
The process of getting better depends on the tools used to complete the procedure. When the dentist uses a scalpel, stitches will be necessary, which will increase the general irritation. On the other hand, lasers can reconstruct gums without cuts or stitches, decreasing recovery time. You will experience swelling and soreness afterward, regardless of the tool used. Inflammation can be countered by prescribed painkillers and applying ice packs around the affected area for a few days in intervals of 15 minutes.
The extent of the surgery is also a determinant. You can expect complete mend in a few days or weeks. It is necessary to minimize your daily activities according to the pain you will be experiencing. Your dentist might also prescribe an antibiotic rinse to prevent germ contamination.
How Do I Take Care of My Gums During Recovery?
There are restrictions enforced to foster quick recovery. You will need to eat foods that are friendly to your gums. Shy away from any ingestible that are sharp and could pierce the gums. Stick to a diet of soft foods like:
- Apple sauce
Practicing good dental hygiene is also essential; however, brushing and flossing need to be done gently. Harsh conditions might trigger irritation on sensitive tissue, causing infection. Consult your dentist if you notice abnormal swelling and bleeding.
The dental specialist will inform you when to stop the dietary requirements after the follow-up examination.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
Some risk you may be liable to include:
- Bacterial infections
- Anesthesia side effects
- Gum relapse
Aftercare practices extensively minimize these effects.
If you are self-conscious about your teeth’ appearance, call us at Whitaker Family Dentistry to discuss your options. We will conduct a thorough examination and offer practical solutions. We are highly skilled in providing our patients with comprehensive treatment. We guarantee to achieve the desired results that fulfill your needs.