Our gums are just as important as our teeth in terms of function and aesthetics. Some patients are born with uneven or excessive gingival tissue. If this sounds like you, then you may qualify for gingival contouring.
At Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS, we offer gingival contouring for several reasons. As a periodontics office, we specialize in the care and maintenance of gingival tissues. If you would like to improve the appearance of your gums, you have come to the right place!
What Is Gingival Contouring?
Gingival contouring is a minor surgical procedure ideal for patients with too little or too much gum tissue. There are some things that can affect the height of your gums. The type of contouring you need depends on the condition of your gums.
Having too little tissue is usually the result of gum recession. Receding gums can cause teeth to look elongated and discolored while exposing the roots to harmful plaque and bacteria. Gum recession is usually indicative of periodontal disease, which can ultimately result in tooth loss.
An excessive amount of gum tissue can result in a "gummy" smile. Our gums can swell due to bacterial infection and poor oral hygiene. Other times, a person can have a naturally high lip line, leaving more of the gum tissue exposed. Having too much gum can also cause your teeth to look smaller than they should.
Some of these issues may require restorative treatments, such as scaling and root planing. More often than not, gum contouring is considered a strictly cosmetic procedure. Striking a more balanced appearance between your teeth and gums can improve the cosmetics of your smile.
Gingival Contouring Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Thomas Rafferty will determine if gingival contouring is right for you. The next step is treatment planning. We will determine which technique is most suitable for your circumstance.
If you have excessive gingival tissue, simple contouring can improve the aesthetics of your teeth. If only one tooth needs contouring, we may also address the surrounding teeth to create a more even appearance. In some cases, we may also need to remove a small amount of underlying bone.
Treatment of gum recession is a little different and usually involves a gum graft. A gum graft may be a necessary part of treatment for periodontal disease. It can also protect the roots of your teeth from decay.
The recovery period following gingival contouring is usually brief. Minor swelling, sensitivity issues, and discomfort are common. However, these symptoms usually subside within a few days. We may give you a set of post-operative instructions to improve your comfort.
Benefits of Gingival Contouring
The biggest benefit of gingival contouring is a more beautiful smile. However, the procedure can also provide long-term benefits for your oral health. Gingival contouring can make your teeth easier to brush and clean, reducing your risk of developing other oral health problems.
A gummy smile can increase your risk of bacterial infection. The excess tissue gives bacteria more places to hide. In this way, gingival contouring can decrease your risk of periodontal disease.
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment
Find out if gingival contouring is right for you! Call (978) 720-9009 to schedule your consultation appointment now.