What is Gum Recontouring?
Also called gum reshaping or gum sculpting, this cosmetic procedure corrects gums that are too high, too low or uneven. The dentist can shape the gums with a variety of tools and methods to improve the look of your teeth and smile and prevent dental problems like gum disease, decay and tooth loss. Dr. Castle can perform gingival sculpting alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures for a full smile reconstruction.
What Causes Uneven Gums?
When you smile in the mirror you might notice your gums rest too high or too low. If you have an overabundance of gum tissues covering a larger portion of your teeth (a gummy smile), dentists call it excessive gingival display. This makes your teeth look short and often comes from genetics, bone that extends too close to the surface of teeth, inflammation or the use of certain medications. If you have teeth that look elongated due to gums pulling away from teeth, dentists call it gum recession. This is normally caused by a periodontal infection (gum disease) where bacteria colonize in the pockets along the gumline and provoke an inflammatory response. Recession also occurs due to abnormal tooth positions, excessive brushing and genetics. Depending on the condition and the cause of your gum problems, Dr. Castle can correct these problems and restore soft tissue to a uniform, healthy condition.
What is the Procedure for Gum Grafting?
Dr. Shaikh numbs the area with local anesthesia and makes sure to remove all bacteria and infection. Then, she will perform one of three types of soft tissue grafts. For a free gingival graft, she takes a small strip of tissue from the roof of your mouth and sutures it in place. In a connective tissue graft, she must cut a flap in the roof of your mouth and remove tissue from beneath the flap to use as a graft. Lastly, for a pedicle graft she uses tissue from a neighboring tooth to cover exposed tooth roots. The last method is most common because it allows for faster healing times as part of the graft is attached.
Though recovery should only take a day or two, Dr. Shaikh might advise a strict diet of soft foods or liquids for several days to speed recovery and promote proper healing. If your treatment required stitches, she will also ask you to limit physical activity to prevent reopening or infection of the surgical site.