Gum Tissue Contouring
When you look in the mirror and flash your biggest and brightest smile, are you happy with what you see? Many people instinctively hone in on their teeth when they smile, focusing on the shape, color, and appearance of them. However, your teeth are only one part of the equation. For our patients who are dissatisfied with the shape of their gums - whether they think their smile is too gummy or that their teeth are too big - gum tissue contouring can help them feel confident and happy with their grin once more. We here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offer Gum Tissue Contouring to our patients, giving them a chance to feel good about their smile again.
What Is Gum Tissue Contouring?
Gum contouring is not simply a cosmetic procedure. While its value to your self esteem and mental health cannot be overstated, it can serve a vital medical purpose. While having a gummy smile, with the appearance of too-small teeth, can be perceived as unattractive, having too much or not enough exposed tooth root can be dangerous to your teeth.
As your gums recede, which can be due to gum disease or overly aggressive brushing, your tooth roots are more vulnerable to decay and possible loss. Conversely, having deeper tooth pockets from an excess of gum tissue can make it harder to keep that area clean and make it more prone to tooth decay, as well.
During gum tissue contouring, we may use either a laser, a surgical scalpel, or both. When you have excessive gum tissue, we will carefully remove and shape the gums. This will help give you a more uniform, even, and attractive appearance. Lasers can help cauterize the area and help ward off infection, and if the procedure is performed with a scalpel, we may need to apply sutures afterward to help facilitate healing.
If you have receding gums, we can still shape and contour them to make them look nice and even. Instead of removing tissue with lasers or a scalpel, we are instead surgically placing sterilized donor tissue at the site. This is also known as a "gum graft" and can help prevent you from losing your teeth later on.
Healing and recovery can vary. Healing after a laser procedure can be quicker than a procedure performed with a scalpel. You can expect to heal completely in just a few weeks. If we do need to perform a gum graft on you, you can expect to heal for up to six weeks. Be extremely gentle with your gums after your procedure, and make sure to brush and floss very carefully afterward to avoid irritating the site. Stick with soft foods after your gum tissue contouring procedure to also avoid irritation. Do not use tobacco products, as they can hinder healing and increase your risk of infection. Also avoid alcohol, as it can also impair healing.
Want a New Look to Your Gums? We Can Help
If you are interested in learning more about gum tissue contouring, please give us a call here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (623) 738-2564 for more information or to schedule an appointment with us for this safe and routine procedure that can greatly improve your self-esteem and general oral health!