Two Oral Health Benefits of Aesthetic Gum Contouring

31 March 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


If you have a gummy grin with large gums that seem to cover a large portion of your teeth, then your teeth likely look small. This can cause dissatisfaction with your dental appearance. Thankfully, a procedure called a gum lift or gum contouring procedure can be completed. This procedure will involve the removal of some of the gum tissues in your mouth. Your cosmetic dental professional will typically use a pen to show you where your new gum line will sit and then a scalpel, laser, or radiosurgical implement will be used to cut away the tissues. The procedure will not only make you look better, but it will have a number of other benefits as well. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Reduced Gum Pockets

Around 75% of Americans have some form of gingivitis, and if you have or had some form of periodontal disease, then you likely have gum pockets. The gums are supposed to sit quite snuggly against the teeth to prevent food and bacteria from moving close to the tooth roots. However, there is a small space between the gum tissues and each tooth so that saliva has the opportunity to clear away any foreign matter that may come close to the teeth. When you have gingivitis, then bacteria will be abundant in the mouth and find their way just underneath the lip of the gums. The gums will become infected and swell. The tissues will then start to pull away from the teeth and the spaces between the teeth and gums will open up further. This will open up even larger space where bacteria can collect.

With thorough cleaning, some gum pockets can go away on their own. Professional root planing as well as the constant rinsing of the pockets with a water flosser are two ways to keep the pockets clean. The tissues will then heal and tighten around the teeth. However, some pockets are so deep that they cannot be cleaned out. If you have these deep pockets or even more shallow ones, the gum reduction surgery will reduce the size of the pockets. Basically, the top part of the pocket that is comprised of infected gum tissues will be cut away. This will reduce the pockets completely, or it will shorten them so you can clean them out easily. Both of these things will help to keep gingivitis from turning into gum disease. Also, the removal of infected tissues will stimulate the regrowth of new and healthy tissues. 

Lessened Oral Infection Risks

Many types of medications used to treat high blood pressure, seizures, and autoimmune disorders can cause an overgrowth of gum tissues. If medication use is the reason you are investing in a gum contouring procedure, then your gums likely cover a small or large portion of your dental crowns. When the gums grow over the teeth, they often trap the plaque and tartar that have formed on the enamel. Bacteria collect underneath the gums too, and the microorganisms feed on the debris left on the teeth, and cavities then form. However, you will be unable to clean the covered part of the tooth or identify the cavity. This can lead to deeper cavities and internal tooth infections. Abscesses can form and you may need root canals.

When gum contouring is completed, you and your dentist will be able to access all the dental crowns that sit in your mouth. The teeth can then be cleaned properly and small cavities can be removed well before they infect an entire tooth. Not only will this help you to keep your natural teeth, but it will assist in reducing discomfort as well. If you're interested in gum contouring, consider contacting a local cosmetic dentist, such as Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates, for more information.