You might need the procedure of Gum Contouring if you want a healthy and attractive smile.

This is because, for your pearly whites, there should be a harmonious relationship between your teeth, gums, and lips.

Every individual has different gums, some are high, some a low while some are in between.

However, it is important to note that gums can also be uneven.

If you want that confident and healthy smile then you might be considering making changes to your gumline.

There are different ways to change it. If you have a condition in which gums are exposed or have a gummy smile or crown lengthening then you need dental care.

For this, gum contouring, gum sculpting, or gingivoplasty is one option that can help you to reshape your gumline.

If you have, however, issues with your gums that are already causing oral issues, then your dentist will recommend this procedure.

But what exactly is Gum Contouring?

Let’s discuss every aspect you need to learn about this process so that you can understand it completely.

Gum Contouring

Your dental specialist will carry out the procedure of gum contouring, and it helps to reshape or resculpt your gumline.

The procedure involves cutting away or removing excess gum tissues around your teeth.

However, if you have gum recession, then your doctor will carry out the procedure to restore the gum tissue.

gum contouring  In most cases, the procedure of gum contouring is an elective procedure, meaning, it is not a necessary procedure.

Instead, you can choose it to improve the look of your gums, teeth, or smile.

However, there are many times, when your dentist will recommend gum contouring for different oral health issues.

Learn more about the Best Remedies for Receding Gums here.

Medical Necessity for Gum Contouring

In most cases, individuals want the procedure of gum contouring for cosmetic purposes, however, there are times when it may be a medical necessity.

If you suffer from periodontal diseases, gum contouring can help to treat it.

However, in most cases, your dentist will try to first treat such diseases with non-surgical options.

These non-surgical options include antibiotics to kill bacteria and infection or dental cleanings to restore gum health.

In cases these options do not work, your dentist may recommend a treatment like pocket reduction surgery.

This procedure helps to save your tooth and is done on the gums and surrounding bone.

medical necessity

However, you may need a regeneration procedure to grow damaged bones and gum tissues.

It is important to note that the procedure of gum contouring might be a part of the above procedures.

If so, your dental insurance may cover the cost or part of it, or if your dentist deems it a medical necessity.

Moreover, you may also need to consult or talk to your dental insurance provider to find whether your insurance covers it or not and if there are out-of-pocket expenses or not.

Candidates for Gum Contouring

Gum contouring or gum reshaping is a simple solution to improve the appearance of your smile.

However, it is important to consider the following before making a decision:

Oral Health: If you are struggling with gum diseases or tooth decay, you might want to invest in restoring your oral health before seeking such cosmetic procedures.

candidates for gum contouring

Cosmetic Needs: This procedure will only make your teeth look either big or small by moving the gum line.

It cannot affect the shape, color, or position of your teeth, which would need other procedures.

Lastly, you should consult your dentist whether this procedure is right for you or not.

They can examine your gums and teeth and make the best recommendations for enhancing that smile.

Procedure of Gum Contouring

Most often, your periodontist or cosmetic dentist will carry out this procedure in their office and it usually takes a day for the procedure to complete.

In most cases, you will remain awake during the procedure and before it starts, you will receive local anesthesia to numb your gum area. The local anesthetic will numb the area.

During this procedure, your dentist will use a soft tissue laser or scalpel to remove the excess gum tissue and resculpt the gumline.


This will expose more of your tooth, and you may need sutures or stitches to hold the gum tissue in place.

However, if your gum recedes and the procedure involves adding gum tissues, your dentist will remove tissue from another part of your mouth.

This may be the palate, and surgery secures this tissue around your teeth to lengthen and restructure your gumline.

It is important to note that the length of the procedure may vary and depends on the extent of the contouring and the amount of resculpting that your gums needs.

Usually, the procedure of gum contouring takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Does the Procedure Hurt?

Before the procedure starts your doctor will administer local anesthesia. This will help to numb your gums so that you will not feel pain while your dentist or doctor is working in your mouth.

However, you can expect some form of tenderness and numbness after the anesthesia wears off.

Moreover, the amount of discomfort depends on how much of your gums had to be reshaped or removed.

After the surgery, they may prescribe a pain reliever or you can use over-the-counter OTC medications to relieve pain.

These may be acetaminophen, Tylenol, or ibuprofen, Advil.

Since Aspirin can cause severe or excess bleeding, they might not encourage this medication.

Moreover, you can reduce pain and swelling by applying an ice pack or a cold compress to your mouth for a couple of days.

It is best to apply a compress for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Recovering from Surgery

The procedure of gum contouring involves little downtime, however, complete healing may take a few days or weeks.

This mostly depends on the extent of your surgery.

You might also have to limit your activities for a day or so and it depends on how you feel and any tenderness you might have.

As your gums and mouth will most likely feel sensitive or tender at first, you will want to eat soft foods for about 2 to 3 days after the procedure.

Soup, yogurt, applesauce, and Jell_O are foods you would want to eat.

foods to eat

Moreover, your doctor will provide post-surgery dietary instructions and will let you know if there are any foods to avoid while you are recovering from the surgery.

You will also have a follow-up appointment a few days or a week later after the procedure.

Your doctor will check your gums and teeth to monitor how you are healing and look for any signs of an infection.

They may also prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to reduce the risk of infection.

Signs and symptoms of infections are an increase in pain and swelling and discharge from your gums.

Health Benefits

Though gum contouring is rarely a medical necessity, it has its perks.

Gum diseases can form when oral bacteria settle underneath your gum tissues. These little crevasses are often difficult to brush or floss and are subject to bacteria growth.

The more gum tissue you have, the more places are there for bacteria to hide.

With the help of gum contouring, your dentist will create a healthy gum line to prevent harmful bacterial growth and reduce the risk of gum diseases.

Aesthetic Benefits

Changing your gum line has immediate benefits at bettering the outlook of your smile.

If the gum line is too high or too low, it can throw off the aesthetic of an otherwise perfect smile.

There is more to a smile than just teeth!

Your gums have also had a large impact on the appeal of your smile, thus enjoy that beautiful smile with the appearance of a healthy gum line.

Cost of the Procedure

You opt for the process of gum contouring often for cosmetic reasons which makes it an elective procedure.

This means that it is not medically necessary. For this reason, most often your dental insurance will not cover the cost of this procedure.

If not a medical necessity, you will have to pay for the procedure out of pocket. The cost of the procedure most often varies and depends on the amount of gum tissue your doctor removes or resorts.

Moreover, the cost also depends on whether a specialist performs the procedure or not.

However, it is important to note that if your dentist recommends this procedure for oral health concerns, then your dental insurance may cover part of the cost.

You may also want to talk to your insurance provider for details about how much it covers.

Bottom Line

Gum contouring also termed gingival sculpting is a process that involves reshaping your gum line. Most often it helps to improve the look of the gums, teeth, and your smile. Moreover, most doctors consider it a cosmetic procedure while it is done for aesthetic reasons.

However, there are instances when gum contouring or reshaping is necessary for your oral health reasons, especially if you suffer from periodontal diseases.

The procedure is usually an in-office treatment and takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete. It may vary on how much gum shaping is needed and whether your dental insurance covers it or not.