Gum Contouring: Everything You Need to Know

It isn’t a lie that a first impression means everything. And our smiles are one of the first things to introduce ourselves. That’s why it’s important you feel confident when you flash your teeth at strangers. There’s an indescribable warmth that radiates from a person with a beautiful smile, and we all want to capture a piece of that magic. Gum contouring is a dental procedure that can restore a little bit of that magic to your mouth.

Our first thoughts of that magic smile often go to its whiteness and alignment, but those are far from the only important factors. Having a clean gum line is like having the perfect picture frame for an oil painting. You wouldn’t waste renaissance art on a shabby old frame, would you?

That’s what gum contouring does for your mouth. And if you’re looking to score some of that confidence in your smile, Portrait Dental is here to help you decide if the procedure is right for you. And when you’re ready, you can book with us here.

Gum Contouring: Everything You Need to Know

Usually, gum contouring is an elective procedure, which means it isn’t medically necessary. That isn’t always the case though, as problematic gum health can cause a variety of serious issues. If that’s your situation and the procedure has obvious health benefits, your dentist will work out a plan to help restore your oral health.

Keep reading to find out how Portrait Dental can help you achieve your desired smile.

What is gum contouring?

Performed by a dental specialist, gum contouring or gum reshaping is a procedure that reshapes your gum line. There are many causes of a receding gum line, and this process helps bring back that healthy vitality we all start with. It involves removing excess gum tissue around your teeth or restoring gum tissue if you have receding issues.

If you’re looking for more information on why cosmetic dentistry is right for you, check out our article here. Gum contouring is one of the procedures we are happy to provide you, so keep reading to find out more!

The Gum Reshaping Process

Fortunately, this procedure isn’t all that different from any other elective dental work. You can expect to consult with a periodontist or cosmetic dentist, and, find yourself in and out in one visit. In most cases, you don’t receive any sedation, though you will get local anesthesia to numb the pain.

While the procedure is going on the doctor performs several tasks depending on the state of your gums. They use things like a soft tissue laser or scalpel to expose more of the tooth. Or they add sutures to hold the gums in place. Perhaps they perform a pocket reduction surgery, or a regeneration procedure to address gum recession.

Normal gum contouring procedures take around 1 to 2 hours. You’ll be sent home with some specific aftercare instructions. Keep reading to find out more!

Is gum contouring safe?

Not only is gum contouring considered a safe procedure, but your dentist at Portrait Dental will also go out of their way to make the process a comfort for you. You’ll be given local anesthesia before the procedure starts, and we’ll make sure you understand every step.

While the treatment occurs, you won’t have to worry about anything more than discomfort. And afterwards, while you’ll be sore, the pain is mild. That is unless your gum health needed a lot of correcting, then you might feel it for a while afterwards.

Afterwards, your dentist may prescribe a pain reliever, but often over-the-counter medications work just fine. Ice packs and cold compresses are also very effective at managing pain and swelling.

And hey, once you’ve healed your smile is going to transform the way you feel about yourself!


Unless your procedure is considered medically necessary, it is an elective cosmetic procedure. For this reason, most dental insurance plans don’t cover the cost.

That means that you’ll be paying out of pocket if you decide this procedure is right for you. The cost varies depending on what needs to be done and which special treatments you require.

A single tooth could cost between $50 and $350 dollars while an entire row could cost up to $3000! Because the cost can vary so much, you should consult with your dentist to get a more accurate picture.

With the procedure and cost expectations out of the way, what can you expect from the days afterwards? Keep reading and we’ll set you up with the details.


Because it’s a relatively minor procedure, you can expect a short downtime. While complete healing will take a few days to max a couple of weeks, you should limit your activity after your surgery to make sure that your healing goes as well as it can

You will feel some tenderness and sensitivity at first, which means you should stick to soft foods for about 2 or 3 days afterwards. Try out foods like:

  • smoothies
  • soup
  • fruit sauce
  • cottage cheese

Although these are good general foods to try, make sure to discuss food with your doctor. They may have specific recommendations for you to follow. One of the things they’ll likely mention is that you should avoid using straws while you’re healing. The suction inside your mouth is not good for healing!

Portrait Dental: Expert Gum Contouring

Often gum contouring is just a cosmetic procedure, but not always. It’s also an effective treatment for things like periodontal disease and helps smokers recover vitality in their mouths. It’s very important to discuss medical factors with your dentist, as this could change the price model.

Finding the right dentist is really important. That’s why we have a guide here on all the things you should consider when choosing your dentist. Or if you’re ready to book your consultation, give us a call at 416 534 6000. We can’t wait to hear how we can put a little magic into your smile today.

Gum contouring is a sculpting process that gives patients back a little magic to their smiles. Portrait Dental understands the confidence a beautiful smile can give you, and also the apprehension of dental procedures. That’s why we make every effort to see you comfortable, confident, and happy with your smile.

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