Your smile is the first thing people notice about you. Unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with naturally perfect teeth. Most of us have flaws, whether they be discoloration, cavities, crooked teeth, or an uneven gum line. Of course, you already know that most of these problems are fixable.
You can whiten your smile in a variety of ways, and braces — while uncomfortable — can turn even the most crooked of teeth straight. But what can you do about uneven gums? That’s not set in stone either, thanks to a procedure known as gum contouring.
What Is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring, also known as “gum reshaping”, is a procedure that aims to even out an uneven gum line. This involves removing or reshaping gum tissue using either a scalpel, laser, or radiation. It’s most often performed for cosmetic purposes, but in some cases gum contouring is used to fight periodontitis and other diseases of the gum.
Does It Hurt?
Gums are known for being sensitive, so this is the first question that most people ask when they find out about gum contouring. The good news is that you shouldn’t experience any pain. Your surgeon will administer local anesthesia before the procedure so you’ll be nice and numb. If you get laser contouring, you might not even need the anesthesia at all.
After the procedure, you will experience some mild discomfort that’s easily managed with OTC pain medication. You should also stick to eating soft foods while your gums recover.
What Causes Uneven Gums?
Uneven gums can be caused by a number of things. The most common cause is genetics. Trauma, gum disease, and taking certain medications can also lead to uneven gums. It’s important to determine the root cause of your uneven gumline before the procedure. If it’s caused by gum disease or medication then that will need to be addressed first.
Are There Risks To Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring does carry some risk. You could experience:
- An allergic reaction to the anesthesia
- Gum tissue relapse
These side effects are rare, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
What Are The Benefits?
The most immediate benefit is a better smile. There are also some oral health benefits. Removing excess gum tissue with gum contouring actually decreases your risk of developing gum disease. It does this by giving oral bacteria fewer places to hide.
How Much Does It Cost?
It depends on how much work you need done, but you can expect to pay upwards of $100 per tooth. Your insurance usually won’t cover this procedure since it’s cosmetic. The only exception is in cases where diseased gum tissue needs to be removed.
It sounds expensive, but when you consider that results can last an entire lifetime the cost seems much more bearable. There are also financing options available to help patients afford dental procedures. Check with your dentist to see if this is something they offer.
So, that’s just about everything you could possibly need to know about gum contouring. It’s a painless procedure that improves your smile and promotes healthy teeth without much risk. Just remember, if you want a healthy, beaming smile then gum contouring is just one tool in your toolbox. You still need to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist for regular checkups.
Want to find out whether gum contouring is the right procedure for you? Contact our doctors, Dr. Richard Caven, Dr. Shelby Denman, and Dr. Stephen Carpenter, by calling our Caven Dental office in Jacksonville, FL, to schedule a consultation today!