If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and felt less-than-thrilled with the appearance and shape of your gums, you are not alone. Over the years, we have worked with plenty of patients who have thought their gums are too low (creating a “gummy” smile), too high (creating a “toothy” smile), or just uneven. Gum contouring and reshaping is a dental treatment that can have cosmetic and health benefits.
With regard to aesthetic concerns, the Consumer Guide to Dentistry notes that gum contouring “removes and re-shapes the extra gum tissue to lift the gum line and reveal more teeth and/or even out the gum line for enhanced symmetry. This procedure removes extra gum tissue without leaving a deficit and only exposes the part of the tooth that is normally visible.” Commonly performed by periodontists and cosmetic dentists, the terms gum contouring and reshaping are often used interchangeably. Depending on your health care provider and the desired outcome, your periodontist or dentist may use either a scalpel or a soft tissue laser. We will also use a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort and relaxation.
As we mentioned earlier, reshaping can also have significant benefits for your oral health as well. Sometimes, whether due to genetics and periodontal disease, gum recession can leave teeth exposed, leading to decay, infection, and damage to the supporting bone. According to WebMD, gum recession affects “4% to 12% of adults and often goes unnoticed until it becomes more severe.” A gum tissue graft will utilize a piece of tissue, sometimes directly from your palate, and be placed to cover the root of your tooth. We will advise you on whether you need a gum graft on one tooth or more. While there are three different types of gum grafts, connective-tissue grafts are among the most commonly performed, using tissue from underneath the skin on the roof of your mouth.
Gum contouring, reshaping, and grafts may seem intimidating, but we will put your mind at ease by discussing your tailored treatment plan and post-procedure care during a thorough consultation.
Call us if you are unhappy with the shape of your gums, or if you are worried about gum recession.
Kenneth Cavallari, DDS of Chesapeake
505 Independence Parkway Chesapeake, VA
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