You might be showing more gum than you like when you smile. In many cases, it's not so much that your gums are too obvious but that your teeth may be a bit too short. You could benefit from a simple procedure to make your smile more attractive. Read on to find out more about gum contouring.

What is Gum Contouring?

What you can see when you smile is only half the picture. Your teeth extend into your gums enough so that you can afford to lose some of that tissue.  Your dentist will often use a laser to perform minor surgery that removes some of your gum tissue to expose more of your teeth. Even tiny amounts of removed tissue can improve your smile a great deal.

As the laser does its work at removing the extra gum tissue, it also automatically seals off the blood vessels and that reduces bleeding. Using a laser also allows extremely precise movements by your dentist. At the same time, the laser can destroy bacteria hiding in your gums so that you may experience a reduction in cavities and gum disease.

What to Expect

You and your dentist will discuss anesthesia at an appointment prior to the surgery. In most cases, though, general anesthesia is not necessary. You might be comfortable with a numbing shot and some laughing gas or something to relax you, depending on how nervous you are about things. Your dentist will remove excess tissue and perform some small stitches if needed. This appointment can take one or more hours to complete.


If your dentist used a laser, the time for recovery is shorter than if a scalpel was used. Your dentist will likely recommend the use of over-the-counter pain relievers like Motrin or Tylenol to deal with any discomfort. You may want to stock your kitchen with some easy-to-eat soft foods like bananas, tuna salad, smoothies, protein drinks, etc.

In most cases, no repeat visits are necessary unless stitches need to be removed. The gum contouring procedure will likely leave your gums a little swollen and sore for a day or so. Once the swelling goes down, however, you will notice how much better your smile looks now. The recovery time from a gum contour is often quick and easy and you should not need to miss any extra time from work or your usual activities.

Speak to a dentist's office, such as Apollo Dental Center, to learn more about gum contouring.