If your gums rest too low or too high on your teeth and you are unhappy with your smile, you may be a candidate for gum contouring surgery. Also called gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, this cosmetic dental procedure can even out an uneven gum line and give you a smile you can be proud of.
What Causes Uneven Gums?
A number of things can cause your gums to be too low or too high. Gums that cover a large portion of your teeth can make your teeth look small. This may be the result of genetics, a particular health problem, or taking certain prescription drugs.
Gums that are too high and make your teeth appear long are often caused by gum recession, a condition in which gum tissue pulls back from a tooth and exposes the tooth's root. Not only can gum recession make your teeth look long, it can lead to serious dental problems such as decay and tooth loss. Gum recession may also be a sign of periodontal disease, the deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums and bone) .
Gum Contouring Surgery: Is It Necessary?
Gum contouring alone is considered a cosmetic procedure. Most of the time it is not medically necessary. Most people have their gums reshaped to improve the appearance of their smile. However, some people undergo gum contouring surgery as part of other necessary periodontal procedures, such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and regenerative procedures.
Gum contouring procedures not considered cosmetic include adding gum tissue when recession has occurred and trimming overgrown tissue that has covered part of the tooth crown.
What Type of Doctors Perform Gum Contouring?
Many general dentists and periodontists (gum specialists) can perform the gum contouring procedure. Before having the procedure done, ask your dentist about his or her knowledge and experience with the process.
Gum Contouring: How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of gum contouring depends on the extent of the work being done. Talk to your dentist about the cost based on your individual needs. Dental insurance does not typically cover gum contouring for cosmetic purposes.