Gum Contouring

This is another surgical procedure and is usually aesthetic, although it can have some health benefits. Gum contouring can have reconstructive benefits that help prevent plaque buildup or other gum issues.

Gum Contouring is usually prescribed for gums that set too high or low on the teeth of a patient and cause the patient discomfort, either physically or psychologically, such as when smiling. It is also called gum reshaping or tissue sculpting and the end goal is to give the patient an even gum line and improve the patient’s smile (with the exception of when gum contouring can provide medical benefit.)

Uneven Gums: These can happen because of genetics, injury, other health issues, or as a side effect from external factors such as using tobacco or prescription drugs. Gum recession is the usual culprit, which is when your gum line recedes and exposes more of a tooth and even the tooth root.

This can look unattractive but also can lead to loosened teeth, degraded ligaments and even bone exposure and disease. Gum recession can also be a sign of serious periodontal disease and when that is the case, contouring can be used after the underlying recessions causation is treated.

When the issue is gum recession or when a gum has grown over a crown, contouring is considered medically necessary in some cases. Because it is considered largely to be cosmetic, health insurance may not cover the cost of gum contouring.

The Process: This is also an outpatient procedure, usually performed in a periodontist’s office. Scalpels, lasers and radiosurgery are used to do the contouring; the process used depends on what needs to be contoured and the extent of contouring needed. A local anesthesia may be necessary to numb the area being worked on.

In rare cases, the bone at the front of the tooth’s root must be removed to ensure the most optimal, long-term results. Recovery may take a few days up to a few weeks. A patient may be put on antibiotics to avoid infection of the area that was affected.

The largest risk of gum contouring is the gum tissue returning to its original shape, whether that be regrowing or reshaping.

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