Gum Recontouring

What is Gum Recontouring?

smiling seniorProperly proportioned, healthy-looking gums can make a huge difference in your smile! The gums are much like the frame of a picture. A poorly chosen frame can detract from an otherwise beautiful picture. Their shape affects the shape of your teeth.  Likewise, their color and appearance affects the vitality of your smile.  Gum contouring allows you to shape the gums to a more ideal appearance and proportion. Dr. McRay and Dr. Robbins can comfortably accomplish this by removing excess tissue to fix a “gummy” smile. When your teeth appear “too long” because of gum recession, tissue can also be added at the neck of the tooth to solve this problem.

How will they fix my “gummy smile”?

Dr. McRay and Dr. Robbins can use special instruments, most commonly a laser, to shape excess tissue. This “sculpting” procedure is known as a gingevectomy. It will give your smile a more youthful, natural appearance since your newly shaped gums will properly frame and showcase your teeth. The procedure will be quick and comfortable, and the laser will actually seal the gum tissue helping you to heal faster.  In some more complex cases a minor surgical procedure is necessary to achieve the “ideal” result.  In some cases, a specialist such as a periodontist will be involved with a case to achieve certain results.

How do you repair teeth that look “too long” because of receding gums?

smiling manThis is accomplished by our office or a periodontist (gum specialist).  After making sure that you are completely comfortable, tissue is repositioned by a variety of techniques to accomplish the goal.  Which technique is employed is dependent on the needs of the individual case. This simple procedure will shape your gums to a more ideal frame for your teeth, giving you a younger and more attractive smile.

Who is a good candidate for gum recontouring?

Anyone who has uneven gums, a “gummy” smile, or receding gums with teeth that look “too long” is a good candidate. “Gummy” smiles make your teeth look too small. Gum recession not only makes your smile look older and less attractive, but can also lead to loose teeth and sensitivity to hot and cold.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Normally patients do very well with these procedures.  There is minimal discomfort and swelling.  If needed, Dr. McRay and Dr. Robbins will recommend an over-the-counter analgesic such as Ibuprofen.  Occasionally, a stronger prescription medication is necessary. Usually we will have you rinse your mouth with salt water or a special antibacterial mouthwash. You will do this once or twice a day for the next two weeks to aid the healing process.  Almost without exception, patients feel the minimal discomfort related to these procedures is well worth it once they see the final results of their treatment.