Is Gum Contouring For You?

gingivaYou may have heard of cosmetic bonding and contouring regarding your teeth, but have you heard of gum contouring? Although you may not think so, your gums contribute to the esthetics of your smile. If your gums are too red, receding, or just plain unhealthy looking, your smile will be too. However, if your gums are pink, and firm, they are healthy and esthetically pleasing. Gum health is not the only issue that affects your smile. Some people have excessive gum tissue that covers too much of their teeth, making their teeth look too short. Do you have too much gum tissue? If so, gum contouring may be for you.

Tooth to Gum Ratio

There are many factors a dentist looks at when aiming to improve your smile. In the field of dentistry an esthetic smile is determined by a scientific ratio of teeth to gums, and a length to width ratio of the tooth itself. Some people have what is referred to as a gummy smile which means they have too much gingival tissue, or gum, covering their teeth. This affects the length to width ratio of their teeth making them look too short and stubby. Repositioning your gum line can improve your smile by showing more of your white tooth and less of your gum.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring removes the excess gum tissue repositioning the gum line so the proper ratio of tooth structure shows. Photos of your teeth may be taken so Dr. Cain can give you a visual of what your new gum line will look like by drawing in his vision on the photograph. Once you’re happy with the suggested treatment, he will anesthetize your gums and possibly sedate you for your comfort. Using a soft-tissue laser, he will remove the excessive gum tissue. A soft tissue laser melts away excess tissue while sealing the blood vessels to prevent bleeding, swelling, and promote healing. Although you may experience some discomfort for one or two days, the results of the treatment are immediate. Your dentist may suggest an over-the-counter medication to help relieve the pain.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.