El Paso, TX
Although it has an odd sound to it, gingival (or gum) contouring is a very common treatment surgery which has multiple applications. One of those is the treatment of gum issues. Although every patient has a truly unique gum line, some can be visually unappealing. They can make the teeth look too large or too small and make the person’s smile appear odd and even unsettling. Although gingival contouring is mostly considered a cosmetic surgery, it has medical value as well. If you have considered changing your gum line, why not come in to discuss the options today at our office located at Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS?
Who Needs Gingival Contouring?
In the case of those patients who need to have a gingival contouring dental surgery, most are performed due to the advanced stages of gum disease. As with most situations, our office will attempt to use non-surgical options first to help treat the patient with either deep cleaning or a course of appropriate antibiotics. If those do not alleviate the symptoms, scaling or root planing may be used to clean the bacteria and remove the infection. Pocket reduction surgery and even bone grafts may be used in conjunction with gingival contouring to yield satisfactory results.
Gingival contouring is typically performed with a soft tissue laser which is highly recommended over the use of handheld instruments. It can remove the gum tissue and seal the surgical site in a single step without the need for sutures.
What is a Gingival Contouring Procedure?
Most gingival contouring procedures are performed by either a cosmetic dentist or a periodontist. Both have had focused training and understand the techniques needed to successfully perform the contouring surgery.
A minimal amount of sedation is necessary to perform the procedure so patients can remain relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. Although it is rare, in some instances, patients who are overly anxious may need a general anesthetic. When patients have a gummy smile, they have too much gum tissue showing and too little of their teeth visible. A soft tissue laser is utilized to remove the excess gums and contour the gums to a suitable line which will improve the overall appearance of the patient’s smile.
In the case of receding gums, where the gums are pulling away from the teeth, a gum graft will be necessary. Taking a healthy bit of tissue from a healthy area of the mouth, it is then stretched out over the section of the gum tissue in need of the graft.
As with any dental procedure, it is incredibly important patients follow the recovery guidelines in order to make sure the gums properly heal and do not cause any infections. Typically, a soft diet is recommended so nothing damages the tender gum tissue as it heals. Also, physical activities should be avoided for a few weeks to allow for healing as well. The exertion of any kind can cause bleeding at the surgical site. For those patients who are in need of gingival contouring and have concerns regarding their smile, we can help. Please come see us at Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS. You can also call us at to schedule an evaluation.