Gum Contouring Surgery: Is It Safe and Permanent?

Gum Contouring Surgery: Is It Safe and Permanent?

October 1, 2022

Everyone has a different gum line. Some people have high gums, some low, and some are in between. Some people may even have uneven gums. If your gum line makes you self-conscious, techniques to change your appearance are available from the cosmetic dentist near you.

Gum contouring, alternatively called gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is an option to help you reshape your gum line. In some cases, you might receive a suggestion from your dentist if you have concerns with your gums affecting your oral health. However, you might wonder what gum contouring involves. This article focuses on what gum contouring means, how and when it becomes necessary, and your recovery.

Gum Contouring Explained

Gum contouring is a procedure performed by dental specialists for aesthetic purposes. However, there are also occasions when the process becomes a medical requirement. For example, reshaping your gums is a treatment option if you are affected by periodontal disease. However, your dentist will initially try to treat periodontal disease using nonsurgical techniques, including antibiotics to kill the disorder and bacteria or dental cleanings to restore the health of your gums.

Our dentist in Houston, TX, suggests treatments like pocket reduction surgery if nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful. The surgical process on the gums and adjacent bones helps save a tooth. Alternatively, you might require regeneration procedures to regrow damaged bone and gum tissue. A part of these procedures might include gum contouring. Furthermore, dental insurance might cover part or the entire cost if it is considered a medical necessity. Therefore it helps if you talk with your insurance provider to determine the coverage and whether out-of-pocket expenses are involved.

What Does Gum Contouring Entail?

Cosmetic dentists or periodontists generally perform gum contouring procedures. Gum contouring is an in-office process completed in one visit by a dental specialist. You will remain awake throughout the course. In most cases, you receive local anesthesia in the gums to numb the area before the specialist starts the procedure.

When performing gum contouring, the dentist uses a scalpel or soft tissue lasers to remove extra gum tissue and re-sculpt the gumline to expose more of a tooth. You might require stitches to hold the gum tissue in place.

If your gums have receded, the procedure entails adding gum tissue from other parts of your mouth or palate, which the dentist removes. The surgery helps secure the tissue around your teeth to restructure your gumline. The length of the process hinges on the extent of the contouring and the re-sculpting needed, but the dentist completes the process in approximately one or two hours.

Is Gum Contouring Painful?

You receive local anesthesia before the procedure begins. The anesthetic numbs your gums to ensure you don’t feel pain when the dentist works in your mouth. However, you can expect some pain and tenderness later. How much discomfort you experience depends on the extent of the process and the necessary reshaping or removal of the gums.

After the surgical procedure, the dentist prescribes a pain reliever and suggests taking over-the-counter pain medications for relief. In addition, you can alleviate the pain and swelling by using ice packs or cold compresses on your cheeks for about 48 hours after the surgery. However, it is best to apply the cold compresses intermittently at 15-minute intervals on and off to prevent tissue damage.

Recovery from Gum Contouring?

Little downtime is involved in gum contrary, but depending on the extent of the surgery, complete healing might require a few days or weeks. You must limit some of your activities for a couple of days, depending on how you feel and the tenderness you may experience. As your gums and mouth will likely remain sensitive or tender, you must have soft foods after the process. The foods you can have include soups, yogurt, applesauce, Jell-O, et cetera.

You receive adequate aftercare instructions from your dentist with information on the foods you must avoid during your recovery. Dentists also prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to prevent infections and request you follow up with them in a few days or a week after the surgery. Your dentist checks your gums and monitors your healing, looking for signs of any infections.


Gum contouring, also called gingival sculpting, is a relatively safe procedure that helps improve the appearance of your gums and delivers permanent results. Therefore, it is considered an aesthetic procedure when performed for cosmetic reasons. However, gum contouring also becomes a medical necessity for reasons of oral health if you have periodontal disease. Therefore whether you are recommended gum contouring for cosmetic or medical reasons, you can rest assured the procedure is safe and permanent to have without concerns.

American Modern Dental performs many gum contouring procedures for aesthetic and medical needs. If you think the appearance of your gums needs improvement, kindly do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with our practice for gum contouring in Houston to reshape your gums.