While most people visit their favourite dentist at Yokine Dentist primarily for the well-being of their teeth, it should be noted that the gums are every bit as important to oral health. In fact, if your gums are unhealthy it can create even bigger issues than one or two teeth that might have cavities.
It is more than likely that most people consider their smiles it is their teeth that they think about most. This is why there is such a huge demand for cosmetic dentistry which whitens, repairs, replaces, and straightens teeth. However, given that every person’s gumline is different, there is an increasing demand for dentists to carry out cosmetic work on gums too.
Now before we go further it has to be made clear that the scope of cosmetic dentistry in relation to teeth is a lot wider than it is for gums. For teeth, there is a multitude of cosmetic procedures that can be undertaken. These include relatively simple processes such as whitening, to more complex ones like ceramic crowns being fitted. You can even have tattoos etched on to your teeth if you want to get really artistic.
For procedures related to gums that might improve your smile, the main one is gum contouring, which is also known in dental circles as gingivoplasty, or gingival sculpting. What gum contouring effectively does is resculpt and reshape your gumline.
Gum contouring can be done for medical reasons whereby your dentist feels it is necessary to treat conditions such as periodontal disease. This is a serious infection of the gums which occurs due to the build of bacteria on the teeth and gums, and if left untreated, it can damage your teeth and jawbone.
Before opting for gum contouring your dentist would normally try to treat a condition like periodontal disease with more traditional methods such as antibiotics, accompanied by regular professional cleaning of your teeth and gums. Should these not work, surgery, including gum contouring, might be necessary to save teeth, and to help regenerate your gums.
As for gum contouring being used for cosmetic reasons, your dentist should be able to do this also. Often a patient will be unhappy that they have too much gum tissue. This can mean that when they smile the gums seem more prominent than their teeth. Conversely, those who have gums that might have receded, feel that when they smile they are showing too much of their teeth, and not enough of their gums.
In order to carry out gum contouring, a dentist will use a number of instruments and tools which may include a scalpel or soft tissue laser. If the issue is excess gum then the dentist will use to remove the excess gum and resculpt the gum. If on the other hand, the problem is a lack of gum tissue the dentist will remove the skin from another part of your mouth, such as your palate, in order to build up and restructure the gum.
You can undergo gum contouring under local anaesthetic so should feel no pain during the procedure. However, after the treatment, you will start to feel a degree of discomfort depending on how much surgery took place on your gums. You will need to eat soft foods like soup or yogurt for a few days, but otherwise, you should feel back to normal within a week.
A follow-up appointment will be arranged so that dentist can check that your gums are healing normally, and thereafter you can enjoy your new gumline and improved smile.