Many people have prominent gum tissue, which can make the teeth appear short and the gums conspicuous. Prominent gums can result from excess gum tissue extending over the teeth or excessive teeth grinding wearing the teeth closer to the gum line. In such cases, gums reduction procedures can be performed including gum contouring to reduce the gums and composite resin bonding, crowns, and veneers to extend the teeth.

Gum contouring

Gum contouring is a procedure involving removal of excess gum tissue in order to enhance your smile. Some bone removal may also be required depending on the condition of the gums and teeth. Gum tissue can be removed manually, but typically a diode laser is used for this procedure.


All surgical procedures involve some risk. The risks associated with gum reduction surgery are:

  • Gum swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic reaction to anaesthetic


The gum contouring procedure can cost anywhere from $1200 to $3000 depending on the extent of contouring required. Additional procedures such as crowns and veneers will add to the final cost.

Gum surgery may be covered by dental insurance; ask your insurance provider, and let your dentist know.


Recovery from gum reduction surgery can take a few days to a few weeks depending on how long it takes the gums to heal. Your dentist will provide guidelines for recovery following the procedure.

Some tips for easing recovery are:

  • Take over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or as directed by your physician to ease the pain. Do not take aspirin as it may cause bleeding.
  • Avoid spicy foods until your gums have healed. Soft foods and ice cream are good options during recovery.
  • Follow your dentist’s advice on brushing during recovery.

If you note excessive swelling or bleeding in your gums, contact your dentist immediately.


Gum reduction procedures are typically considered cosmetic rather than medical. However, there are some medical reasons for gum reduction surgery such as crown lengthening and pocket reduction. Your dentist is the best person to advise you on whether this procedure is right for you.