Gum Contouring – A Cosmetic Procedure to Correct Your Smile


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Dr Sukanya Goswami
Sukanya has done BDS. She is a dentist, a blogger, an extrovert, and a travel enthusiast. She is also a spiritual believer. When she is not working, you can find her reading books.

A beautiful smile not only enhances the way we look but gives us confidence and happiness. It has a significant impact on our life and mental well-being.

Orthodontic procedures to straighten the teeth are very common these days, but some patients still don’t get that satisfaction after getting their braces off.


Most of the times its either because they have receded gums or their gums have taken over their smile. Such patients become an ideal candidate to undergo gum contouring.

In simple terms, gum contouring is a dental procedure which is done to reshape the gums and provide a better brighter smile.

Be it an excess of gum tissue or receding gums, gum contouring proves to be promising.

With the advancement in modern technology, it has become easier for dentists or specialists to reshape those uneven gums efficiently in less time. The results obtained are flourishing.

Let us dive in directly into the article to know more about gum contouring and its benefits.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring, commonly referred to as gingival reshaping, is a cosmetic dental procedure that is used to change to the shape of the gums according to the tooth contour.

It involves two types of gum reshaping. A dentist may contour it by cutting away the excess tissue of patients with excessive gums.

On the other side, a dentist restores the gum tissue to cover the exposed tooth structure of patients with receded gums.

Periodontal gum contouring is a variant of this procedure which is usually done for issues like gum inconsistencies such as to counter dental caries, loss of a tooth, gingival infections or even periodontal disease.

Why do you need gum contouring?

Uneven gums are a typical clinical presentation. Many factors may cause your gums to grow too low or too high which compromises the aesthetics of the smile.

  • Genetic correlation may cause gummy smile from childhood (1)
  • Certain prescription drugs contribute to excessive growth of the gums
  • Receding Gums
  • Periodontal disease affecting the gums and the periodontal tissues
  • Crown lengthening procedures(2)

In all these cases, the gums require reshaping to maintain the health and prevent dental problems that may eventually develop.

What are the benefits?

  • Gum contouring helps the patient to balance the symmetry and tooth proportions and improves the aesthetics of the smile.
  • With advanced equipment like lasers, gum contouring also helps to sterilize the bacteria that may be present around the gum tissue.
  • Excessive gums can be reshaped to maintain the gum-tooth ratio and modify the smile.
  • The procedure is quick, and the final results can be seen immediately.
  • Post-op healing is fast as well.
  • Gum contouring is entirely a safe procedure and doesn’t have any harmful effects.

What is the procedure for gum contouring?

A dentist or a periodontist can perform this procedure in a clinical set-up. First, the gums are examined for their thickness, health, any infections or oral conditions.

Once the oral tissue examination is completed, the patient is informed about all the procedure and the benefits and asked to sign a consent form.

Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure which is done under local anesthesia that numbs the gums. A scalpel or a soft tissue laser is used to cut the excessive gum tissue, and it is reshaped according to the contours of the teeth.

The advantage of using a laser is that it cuts and seals the tissue at its desired position, maintains the shape and decreases the chance of bleeding.

Any periodontal pockets can also be corrected to maintain the health of the tooth and to clear the bacterial load. (3)

What precautions should you take after treatment?

The recovery time is quick. You will have to follow the instructions given by the dentist to heal the tissue after the procedure.

  • You can ask the dentist to prescribe you pain medications.
  • If you are taking over-the-counter pain medications, avoid aspirin or any drug that has aspirin as a component as it will cause bleeding.
  • Maintain a soft diet for 2-3 days to let the tissues heal.
  • Gentle brushing and flossing are recommended until the gums heal completely.
  • An antibiotic mouth rinse can be used to avoid any oral infections and maintain good oral hygiene.

How much does gum contouring cost?

The cost of the procedure depends mostly on the amount of excess tissue and the severity of the problem. On an average, a gum contouring procedure will cost around $600 – $2000 per tooth.

Since gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure, dental insurance may not cover the expenses. You can check with your insurance provider for more details. However, in case of a medical need, the insurance may provide you assistance.

Over to you

Everybody likes to have a perfect smile. As dentistry is evolving, its efforts to provide a holistic treatment are becoming better and easier.

Although gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that can be done for medical and therapeutic purposes, the aesthetic demand in today’s world has made it even more popular.

Uneven gums or receding gums often makes it difficult for a patient to accept his smile and are a huge reason for lack of confidence in such patients.

Fortunately, gum contouring can instantly provide an ideal smile without affecting the tooth. It is painless, quick and easy to maintain.


The only concern about this cosmetic dental procedure is the cost effectivity. You can talk to your insurance provider and discuss the terms for this procedure.

Make sure to understand all the pre-operative and post-operative instructions to take care of the health of your oral tissues especially the gums.

Maintain a good oral health routine, remember to apply gentle pressure while brushing or flossing after the procedure. Enhance your oral hygiene by using an antibiotic mouth rinse.


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