What Is Gum Contouring, And How Can It Change Your Smile?

Contouring helps shape your face, or at least it gives you some control over your face shape when doing makeup by offering more artistic creativity to you (via MasterClass). People typically contour their foreheads, cheekbones, and jawlines, but a new trend is on the rise: gum contouring. The aforementioned types of contouring use makeup to create illusions, but gum contouring is a different approach to this face customization practice. 

According to Healthline, gum contouring is actually a medical procedure completed by a dental specialist. Healthline describes the procedure as one "that reshapes or resculpts your gumline." Oftentimes, gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure. It can be recommended by a dentist or chosen by you, but it's typically oriented toward creating a gum line that you want. 

However, in some cases, such as if you have periodontal disease or receding gum lines, gum contouring may be crucial to your overall oral health and thus recommended to you by a doctor before any of these conditions can worsen.

This is what gum contour means for your gum tissue

According to Assembly Dental, a dentistry practice based in Somerville, Massachusetts, the decision to get gum contouring is a deeply personal one. If you aren't comfortable with the appearance of your gums, contouring may help boost confidence. While any sort of dental work can be scary to many people, if you decide to go through with gum contouring know that you'll be medicated and shouldn't feel anything during the actual procedure. However, you should know that scalpels and lasers are used for this type of procedure, and these tools can determine your healing time. Scalpels require sutures a longer healing time, while a laser procedure will require less healing time because it's less invasive. In either case, ice and ibuprofen are recommended for your after-care.

Healthline recommends eating soft foods for the first few days after gum contouring. You want to give your mouth plenty of time to heal, but your doctor will give you a complete list of instructions once you've had the operation. In essence, though, gum contouring is exactly what it sounds like. The tool will be used to mold your gums into a shape that you want. In most cases, this means gum tissue is being removed from your mouth, either by scalpel or laser, in the sculpting process.

Ultimately, gum contouring only takes one to two hours and can give you the smile you've always wanted, but you need to be extremely sure that it's what you want before you commit to it — especially because gum contouring can be quite costly, ranging from $50 to $350 per tooth.