So many people go through life each day feeling unhappy with their smiles. Of course, that unhappiness or dissatisfaction can stem from a variety of different things. It could be the result of yellow or stained teeth, crooked teeth, or other major oral health issues.
Some people don’t like their smiles because they appear too “gummy.” A gummy smile occurs when your gum tissue is covering too much of your teeth, making them appear smaller than they actually are.
On the contrary, some people experience receding gum tissue, which can expose too much of the teeth and also cause unhappiness with their overall appearance.
One of the best ways to combat a gummy smile is with gum contouring and reshaping. If you’ve never heard of this innovative procedure before and you’re looking for a way to feel more confident about your smile, keep reading for more information.
What is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that is meant to change or adjust the shape of your gums. It depends on your individual needs, as no two procedures are exactly alike. The main point of focus for gum contouring is cutting away excessive gum tissue to reveal more of your teeth, or to restore gum tissue that has receded and is exposing too much of your teeth.
How Does it Work?
If your gums are uneven, or if they either expose or hide too much of your teeth, you may be a perfect candidate for gum contouring. It is a very simple procedure either to cover or expose more teeth.
After a consultation with your dentist, you will have more information about what your gums will look like after the gum contouring procedure. We can even show you just how far your gums will be cut back to reveal more of your teeth, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.
A local anesthetic is sometimes used to numb the area, especially if the tissue is being cut for reshaping. If you have too much of a “gummy” smile, your dentist will reshape your gum line and cut away some of the excess gum tissue to expose more of your teeth.
No matter which direction you go in your procedure, the ultimate goal is to have an ideal tooth-to-gum ratio. The dentist will reshape, adjust, and contour the gums (especially if they’re crooked) until the ideal shape and coverage is finally reached.
Is Gum Contouring Permanent?
Yes, the results of gum reshaping are permanent! Even though it is a cosmetic procedure, it isn’t something you will have to have ‘redone’ in a few months or even a few years.
Once you get your gums contoured to your liking, they will remain that way permanently. You will never have to feel embarrassed or worried about your gum tissue impacting your smile again.
For many people, that is exactly why gum reshaping is such a worthwhile investment. Nothing manmade is “added” to your teeth as it is with many other cosmetic procedures. Either your gum tissue is cut away, or it is reshaped in a way to make it fuller. With results that last a lifetime, it is definitely an appealing procedure for anyone who has to deal with a gummy smile.
How Long Does it Take to Heal?
Because you will likely be medicated during the procedure itself, it is typically not a painful cosmetic surgery to have. But, there is some downtime involved, as well as a healing process.
On average, healing can take anywhere from a week to ten days. During that time, you may feel a bit of pain or discomfort, which is perfectly normal. It shouldn’t be enough to distract you from your daily activities.
There are a few things you can do on your own to make the healing process easier and less uncomfortable, including:
- Being gentle with your oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing
- Using an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Over-the-counter pain medications without aspirin
- Avoiding spicy or crunchy foods
- Enjoying soft foods (including ice cream to help with any pain!)
- Taking plenty of time to rest
By keeping these things in mind throughout your recovery process, it can make the experience much easier on you, so you can get back to your normal everyday routines even faster.
Is Gum Contouring Safe?
Gum contouring is absolutely safe! If you have ever had a negative reaction to anesthesia in the past, talk to your dentist about it beforehand, and they will ensure that you are completely comfortable before and during the procedure. The local anesthetics or pain medications that are often used are also completely safe.
What Are the Risks?
The only real possible “risk” of gum contouring is developing an infection after the procedure is finished. But, if you take care of your teeth and gums and practice good oral hygiene throughout your recovery, your risk of developing any kind of infection is extremely low.
Again, there is also a possible risk of having a reaction to the anesthesia during the procedure. But, if you are open and honest with the dentist beforehand, they can take action to lower that risk as well.
Be Confident with Your Smile
At Godley Station Dental, we pride ourselves on a different kind of dentistry. It’s easy for some people to label cosmetic dental procedures as nothing more than attempts at vanity. But, we realize that, for people who don’t value their smiles, it is so much more than that.
Having a smile you’re proud to show off can make a big difference in how you view yourself. It can boost your confidence as well as your self-esteem, which can impact many different areas of your life.
If you’re self-conscious about your gums and embarrassed by your smile, feel free to call Godley Station Dental or schedule an appointment online. Our team will be happy to work with you to come up with the best possible gum contouring (gum reshaping) solution, so you can show off your smile proudly for years to come!