What is a Gum Reduction?
Gum reduction is a type of gum contouring which removes excessive amounts of gum tissue. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually a simple procedure completed using laser technology. Gum reshaping is considered a cosmetic dental procedure and is used to even out the gum line and improve your smile.
Reasons to Get a Gum Reduction
The primary reason a person gets a gum reduction is to improve their appearance. In most instances, there are no medical reasons to get a gum reduction, although occasionally this is the case. Most people want to improve their smile along with their confidence and self-image. As long as your gums are healthy and you do not have any pressing medical issues, you should be able to request the procedure from your dentist. Just remember that you need to be comfortable with them working on your gums and confident in their skills and abilities before you proceed. You may choose to have the procedure done by your trusted family dentist, or you may choose to go to a gum specialist to have it done.
What should I expect?
Gum reductions are performed in a standard dentist’s office. They may use different tools including scalpels, lasers or radiosurgery to contour the gums. They will discuss which of these techniques will be most suitable for your particular situation. The dentist will explain the procedure to you fully. They will usually use a pen to draw a line demonstrating how much the gum line will be moved and reshaped. They may apply a local anesthetic to help numb the immediate area being treated. They will remove the excessive gum tissue and shape it so your smile is natural and one you can be proud of.
Is there a long recovery time?
The day after the surgical procedure you should plan on resting and limiting activities. It can take as little as a few days, or as long as a few weeks for your gums to completely heal. Your dentist should give you some specific instructions about what you will need to do to help with the healing and recovery process. Some general tips for getting through the recovery period include:
- Take over the counter pain relievers to help ease pain (as directed by your dentist or physician).
- Eat soft foods for the first few days following the procedure and avoid spicy foods or things with seeds until the gums have completely healed.
- Follow any specific directions given to you by your dentist as far as brushing and caring for your teeth goes.
If you have any changes in your mouth or gums that cause alarm, call your dentist. Things like excessive bleeding or swelling need to be addressed by a dental professional.
What are the risks of gum reductions?
As with any surgical procedure, there are always risks involved. The risks associated with a gum reduction procedure will include:
- Allergic reactions to anesthetics – this is a very rare occurrence
- Relapse of the gum tissue