Designing the smile of your dreams may require more than just one procedure. If you feel like you have either too much or too little gum tissue surrounding your teeth, the surgeries known collectively as gum sculpting or contouring can give you a more attractive look. Some gum contouring surgeries are also recommended after gingivitis causes severe recession of the gum line. Plan for your recovery after your dentist recommends gum sculpting to help you reach your cosmetic goals.
First 48 Hours
When you choose a laser sculpting surgery rather than the traditional techniques involving scalpels, you should find most of the swelling and discomfort is gone within the first 48 hours after treatment. For traditional surgeries, you'll need to rest for these first 48 hours and stick to a strict diet of soft foods and non-irritating liquids. Watch out for hot and cold temperatures and follow your dentist's advice for other tricks for encouraging good healing, such as swishing around a mouthful of warm salt water every few hours.
Patients choosing a traditional gum sculpting surgery should see their swelling and discomfort decrease by the end of the first week. If you're still experiencing significant swelling or any bleeding at this point after a gum surgery, you need to see your dentist again. Most dentists will schedule a follow-up visit at this point with patients who've had both types of surgeries. Since patients undergoing a laser surgery are usually largely healed by this point, they may have a follow-up appointment at three to five days after surgery instead.
Two to Three Weeks
By the second and third week, you should be able to resume your normal oral care routine with full brushing and flossing. You should have at least one appointment with your dentist between surgery and this point in order to ensure everything has healed and there are no hidden pockets of infection that could lead to abscesses. Some patients will still need to use antibiotic mouth rinses at this point in healing to prevent infection, especially if gum disease or root infections were involved in the design to sculpt the gums.
The gums should be fully healed by the end of a month after surgery. Talk to your doctor about any lingering soreness, swelling, or other symptoms at this point since they can all indicate serious dental problems. Keep up with your dentist's recommendations for gentle flossing or use of certain types of rinses to support your long-term gum health.
Contact a dental office like Holly Springs Dental Care for more information and assistance.