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Jason E. Wagle, DDS, MS

Mark A. Moxley, DDS

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Moxley Wagle Periodontics

825 South Hillside
Wichita, KS 67211-3099
Phone : 316-685-2731
Fax : 316-685-6946

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Office Hours:
Monday - 8 am - 5 pm
Tuesday - 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday - 8 am - 5 pm
Thursday - 8 am - 5 pm
Friday - 8 am - 5 pm

Is Gum Contouring Right for You?

Posted on 10/25/2015 by Dr. Wagle
A woman happy with her new smile after a gum contouring treatment.Excessive gum tissue can make a smile that is perfectly healthy appear to be underdeveloped, worn, and unattractive. A good ratio of gum to teeth is important when it comes to a beautiful smile, and if you have excess tissue, your smile may appear gummy. Fortunately, there are several procedures that can help to reshape your smile by improving the appearance of the gums. The most popular is known as gum contouring.

Gum Contouring Basics

Gum contouring may also be known as gum shaping or gum lifting, and the procedure is performed with a scalpel or dental laser. These procedures are completed when someone is unhappy with their smile due to gums that rest too high or too low on the teeth. Gum contouring can even out the gum line in order to provide you with a smile for which you can be proud.

There are a variety of factors that might impact the placement of your gums and the need for gum contouring. If your gums are too large and cover a significant part of your teeth, certain health problems, prescription drugs, or even genetics may be the culprit. Likewise, gums that are too high and leave the teeth appearing long could be due to gum recession, and if this is the culprit, other dental problems like tooth decay and loss may result.

For mild or moderate gummy smiles, a laser is often used to do the contouring. Laser therapy is painless and will minimize both bleeding and healing time. For severe cases, a scalpel may be recommended so that excess tissue can be permanently removed, and small, dissolvable sutures may be put into place.

Recovering from Gum Contouring

After you've had gum contouring completed, you'll need to take some time to recover from the procedure. Be sure to rest and limit your physical activities the day of your surgery, and remember that it can take you several days or even weeks before your gums will heal entirely. If you experience pain and discomfort, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen as directed by your periodontist, but don't take aspirin, as this could result in bleeding.

Gum Contouring vs. Gum Grafting

Contrary to popular belief, gum contouring is not the same as gum grafting. Gum grafting will be used to cover roots and to help develop gum tissue when absent as a result of recession, so it can be used in conjunction with gum contouring. The gum tissue will be removed from your palate in order to cover an exposed root. This may be completed on one or several teeth to reduce sensitivity in order to even out the gum line.

Gum grafts can provide a variety of helpful benefits. They can further reduce bone loss and recession, and in some situations, they can cover an exposed tooth root to protect against decay. Not only will this improve tooth sensitivity, but it can also leave you with a more beautiful smile and healthier gums.

Is Gum Contouring Necessary?

In many cases, gum contouring won't be necessary. It is usually completed when a smile appears gummy, so the gums are reshaped in order to improve the appearance. However, some people might go through gum contouring when pursuing other periodontal procedures, including pocket reduction and crown lengthening.

While gum contouring will leave you with a more attractive smile, it can also improve your oral health. Gum contouring can reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease like gingivitis. When you are able to keep periodontal disease at bay you can also lower your risk of experiencing other dental problems, such as tooth decay, tooth loss, and jawbone loss.

If you have any question about gum contouring please contact us today.

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825 S. Hillside, Wichita, Kansas 67211



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