Your teeth aren’t the only thing that can cause your oral health to decline, not to mention insecurity in your smile. Your gums are vital to maintaining a healthy but also beautiful smile. If you have noticed your gums appear larger, lately, or your teeth suddenly seem small or misshapen because of changes to your gum line, there is help. Gum contouring helps to improve the symmetry of your gum line, but it can also reduce “gummy” smiles, and perhaps most importantly, it can help protect your teeth.
What Causes Problems?
There are a number of potential causes for problems with the gums. Unfortunately one of the most common is gum disease, which in its earliest stage is called gingivitis. Even in this early stage you may notice inflammation, redness or bleeding along the gum line or during flossing. More advanced gum disease can cause loosening of teeth, as well as cosmetic issues with the shape of your teeth because of how the gums have shifted.
A periodontist specializes in treatment of the gums, and can help to restore a person’s oral health through gum contouring. The surgical procedure is performed using a diode laser to reshape the gumline. Anesthesia is used during the procedure, to maintain the patient’s comfort. The laser used for gum contouring helps decrease the time it takes to heal from the procedure, and also reduces the risk of infection, because it cauterizes as it goes.
If a patient is suffering from a “gummy smile,” then excess tissue can be removed, helping to make the teeth appear larger. In the case of receding gums, as is often the case with gum disease, a gum graft may be necessary to help repair the gums. In this case, healthy gum tissue can usually be taken from the neighboring gum tissue, or the palate. Gum contouring can help protect the teeth, by covering the roots.