Snip and trim: Gum contouring

When we feel unhappy about our smile, we usually assume it’s because our teeth are chipped or crooked or stained. However, sometimes it's not our teeth that are the problem.

Taking a closer look in the mirror, we might notice that instead it’s our gums that are looking too big or too visible. An overgrowth of your gums can make your smile appear lop-sided or your teeth appear smaller than they actually are.

At HBDS, we can easily sort out your 'gummy' smile by using a minimally invasive dental procedure known as gum contouring, or gum reshaping. This has the visual effect of reshaping and lengthening your teeth at the same time. A beautiful smile is created through the balance between teeth, lips and gums.

The procedure

Most of the time gum contouring is not medically necessary, but considered more of a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of a smile. It is also often recommended as part of other important periodontal procedures such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction and regenerative treatments.

We usually use a local anaesthetic to avoid unnecessary discomfort to the patient during this relatively simple procedure. Then we gently trim the excessive gum covering the front teeth and reshape the remaining gumline. The healing process is relatively quick.

There are certain instances when gum removal and reshaping is not enough. In these cases, we may need to remove some of the bone in which the teeth are rooted. Although this sounds like a much more daunting prospect, it is an equally simple procedure.

Once your gum treatment is complete, we may recommend additional dental work with composites, veneers or crowns to perfect the look of your smile.

Are there any complications?

Although the vast majority of gum-contouring procedures are performed safely and effectively, all surgical procedures involve some risk of bleeding, swelling and infection. Most patients experience very little discomfort and no complications with this minimally invasive procedure. Occasionally a second follow-up procedure is necessary when a lot of tissue sculpting is required.

At HBDS, we are at your service to discuss all the implications of this procedure and any concerns you may have.