Usually the ideal teeth shape is when they almost look like corn kernels and begin at the same height from the gums. However, there are many cases where the teeth can appear too small or too large, because of the length of the gums they are embedded in. 

This may or may not be due to health complications. For the people for whom uneven gums are due to a health condition or gum disease, they get gum contouring done to get back their original smile. But there are others who go under this procedure called gum contouring to shape their gums and smile to their liking.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring, also known as esthetic gingival recontouring or gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is a surgery which is performed for reshaping the gums. If an individual feels that their gums are too low, making their teeth look very small; or are too high, almost exposing the roots, they can get this gum shaping procedure done.

Some get the gum shaping done when they have uneven gums, because of their personal preferences; and there are other cases where gum shaping is done because it is needed because of a medical condition.

The gum shaping procedure is usually small enough to be done under local anaesthesia. It is performed by the dentists and the periodontists. For bigger gums, the periodontist will reshape the gum by pushing the gums upwards and creating an even pattern for your front teeth.

For when the issue is gum recession, i.e., the gums have receded upwards and in severe cases can even lead to exposed roots, then the doctors will carry out a grafting procedure and the patient’s own gum tissue from somewhere else will be used and attached to the receded area in order to create the required shape.

More severe cases where the reason for carrying out the gum surgery is a medical urgency, the damage to the gums because of the disease might even lead to affecting the bones in the gums. A gum contouring procedure in such a case will be more dramatic and recovery post the surgery can take many weeks. This might include putting in implants into the gums.   

What is the purpose of shaping gum?

Well one of the names of this medical procedure says that it is an aesthetic surgery. Hence, it is indicative of the fact that the purpose of gum contouring or gum shaping is just to change the way they look. It is a cosmetic surgery and might not necessarily be performed because of a medical urgency. 

The cause of the varying lengths and appearance of gums in different people is due to their genetic differences. Like most of your physical features, your gums probably resemble either of your parents of someone else in the related family. 

However, there are times when the gum either overgrows or recedes due to a certain disease or even due to consumption of some prescription drugs which might have that side effect. In such cases, the purpose of the gum contouring is not cosmetic, but a necessity to fix the problem in the patient’s gums and teeth. 

Gum Contouring

After effects of shaping gum?

Well firstly, your gums will be of the shape you wanted them to be before undergoing the gum contouring surgery. Other than this very obvious consequence, you must also keep in mind the other after effect.

It is the recovery phase that you must prepare yourself for. How long your recovery lasts depends on the work done by the periodontist. If the surgery involved moving up of your gums in case your gums covered your teeth before the surgery, then the recovery phase will be much easier compared to the other two cases. This phase will be longer if grafting of tissues or placing implants was a part of your gum contouring surgery. 

You will want to eat soft foods or liquids because your gums are going to be quite sensitive for a couple of days at least. You can have soups, yogurts or other light and easy to eat foods. Other than this, your doctor will also tell you about foods that you must avoid for a couple of weeks. This is because some of them might be a little strong and might end up hurting your already sensitive and recovering gums. 

You will also need to take follow-up appointments to keep the recovery in check, and to make sure that the surgery resulted in no complications in the patient. This is because the gums will be quite vulnerable to infections at this point. Thus proper care needs to be taken.

Do you need gum contouring?

Well that is really up to you. If you do not like the way your smile looks, you can opt for this procedure. But keep in mind that when you go for this or any other cosmetic surgery, make sure that you are only doing it for yourself, and not for other people. 

You should not look down upon your natural beauty just because someone else makes you feel that way. Own the way you look. But of course, it’s your decision and personal choice and no one should stop you from doing something you really want to do for yourself. If you think it is going to make you feel better about yourself, go for it! But remember, again, don’t just get dragged along the uniform beauty standards of society.

However, if your dentist and periodontist tell you that you need to go through shaping gum  surgery because it is for medical reasons, don’t be afraid and go for it. It is probably better to go through the procedure before the condition gets worse. But again, of course, the severity of the conditions vary from patient to patient, and it’s usually the best idea to listen to your doctor, and not this article on the internet.

If you are among the fortunate lot and no doctor has asked you to get gum contouring done because of any medical urgency, make sure to keep it that way. Take care of your gums, as you would for any part of your body. Maintain proper oral hygiene and eat a balanced diet to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. Here is a link which can be of help further.