How Painful Is Gum Contouring?
Everyone doesn’t have similar gum lines, with some people having their gums too high or too low. Some may even have uneven gums. If you are self-conscious about your gum line, changing it is not challenging by visiting the dentist in Minnetonka requesting gum contouring.
Gum contouring, also called gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is an option that helps reshape your gum line. Your dentist may recommend the procedure in some cases if issues with your gums impact your oral health. However, do you know what gum contouring entails?
This article reviews the gum contouring and reshaping process, providing information on some post-operative care tips when necessary.
Explaining Gum Contouring
Gum contouring is a procedure performed by dental specialists to reshape and resculpt your gum line. The gum contouring process entails cutting and removing excess gum tissue around your teeth. If you are affected by gum recession due to periodontal disease restoring gum tissue is also involved.
Gum contouring procedures are usually elective, confirming the process isn’t medically necessary. Instead, many prefer to undergo the process to enhance the appearance of their gums, teeth, and smiles.
When Does Gum Contouring Become Medically Essential?
Although gum contouring is considered an elective procedure, it becomes medically necessary in many cases. For example, if you have periodontal disease with receding gums, the dentist suggests gum contouring as a treatment option. However, gum contouring is usually a last resort because dentists initially treat gum disease using non-surgical techniques. The techniques might include antibiotics to kill the bacteria and the infection besides dental cleanings to restore gum health.
When non-surgical techniques are not successful, your dentist recommends treatments like pocket reduction surgery on the gums and surrounding bone to save your teeth. You might also need regeneration procedures to regrow damaged bone and gum tissue.
Pocket reduction surgery may also involve gum contouring as part of the procedure. In such cases, your dental insurance provider might cover some part of the cost if it is deemed medically essential. However, you must discuss with your insurance provider to understand what’s covered and whether you must bear out-of-pocket expenses.
What Does Involved in The Gum Contouring and Reshaping Procedure?
The gum contouring or reshaping procedure is usually performed by a periodontist in an in-office process requiring one visit. You receive local anesthesia to numb the gum tissue before the dentist begins gum contouring surgery near you.
During the procedure, dentists use a soft tissue laser or scalpel to remove excess gum tissue and resculpt the gum line. They may also place sutures to hold the gum tissue in place. If your gums are receding, the dentist removes tissue from another part of your mouth and secures the tissue around the teeth with surgery to lengthen and restructure your gum line.
The duration of the procedure can vary depending on the extent of contouring and the sculpting needed. However, you must prepare yourself to remain at the dentist’s office for approximately two hours.
Is Gum Contouring Painful?
You receive local anesthesia before the dentist in Minnetonka starts the procedure. The anesthetic helps numb your gums to ensure you experience no pain when the dentist works in your mouth. However, you can expect some tenderness and numbness later.
The pain you experience from gum contouring depends on the extent of the procedure and how much gum tissue needs removal or reshaping. After the gum contouring procedure, your dentist prescribes pain relievers, or you can take over-the-counter painkillers for relief. However, you must avoid aspirin because it is a blood thinner and can encourage bleeding.
Gum Contouring Post-Operative Care
The gum contouring surgery entails minimal downtime, but healing from the procedure requires a few days or weeks, depending on the extent of the procedure. However, you may have to curtail some activities for a couple of days based on the tenderness you experience and how you feel.
As your mouth and gums will likely feel sensitive or tender, you must have soft foods for at least 72 hours after the surgery. You can include foods like soups, yogurt, applesauce, and Jell-O. Your dentist provides post-operative dietary instructions and will also provide information about any foods you must avoid during your recovery. Dentists also prescribe an antibiotic mouthwash to reduce the risk of infections.
You must visit the provider for a follow-up appointment a week or a few days after the surgery. The visit is to assess your gums and monitor your healing and look for signs of infections.
Gum contouring, also called gingival sculpting, is a procedure that entails reshaping your gum line. While gum contouring is often used for cosmetic purposes, there are instances when the procedure also helps reshape your gums if you are affected by periodontal disease.
If you think you can benefit from gum contouring because of the reasons described, please schedule an appointment with Holger Dental Group — Minnetonka to enhance the shape of your gums or restore them as needed.