Gum Contouring in Bethesda & Chevy Chase, MD

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Are you unhappy with your gummy smile? Do you feel that your teeth look too small or disproportionate? If so, gum contouring may be the solution for you. Chevy Chase dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis offers gum contouring, a cosmetic dentistry and periodontal dentistry procedure that involves reshaping the gum line.

Gum contouring results in a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile. In this helpful guide, Dr. Markogiannakis will discuss everything you need to know about laser gum contouring and how we can help you achieve your dream smile.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping or gum sculpting, is a dental procedure that involves removing excess gum tissue or reshaping the gum line to improve the appearance of the teeth. Dr. Markogiannakis can perform gum contouring with a laser on a single tooth or multiple teeth.

Benefits of Gum Contouring

The gum-shaping process can help correct a variety of aesthetic concerns including:

  • Excessive gum tissue
  • Uneven gum line
  • Short teeth
  • Gummy smile
  • Small teeth
  • Disproportionate teeth

Laser gum contouring can also improve your oral and mental health by providing the following benefits:

  1. Reduces the risk of gum disease by eliminating pockets where bacteria can accumulate and cause infection.
  2. Improves oral hygiene by making it easier to clean the teeth and gums thoroughly.
  3. Treats gum recession, which can expose the roots of the teeth and make them more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.
  4. More evenly distributes the forces of biting and chewing through the reshaping process, which can prevent damage to the teeth and jawbone over time.
  5. Provides faster, more efficient healing due to the heat and precision of the laser.
  6. Improves the aesthetics of your smile so you look better and can even feel better.

Who Qualifies for Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring can improve the appearance of your smile and enhance your oral health. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. Here are some factors that can determine whether you qualify for laser gum contouring:

“Gummy" Appearance

If you feel that your teeth appear too small or your gums are too prominent when you smile, you may benefit from gum contouring. This procedure can reshape your gum line to create a more proportionate smile.

Uneven Gum Line

If your gum line is uneven, gum contouring can help create a more uniform appearance. Uneven gum lines can occur due to genetics or gum disease and can affect the symmetry of your smile.

Excess Gum Tissue

If you have excess gum tissue, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to chronic infections or gum disease. Gum contouring can remove this excess tissue and improve your oral health.

The Gum Contouring Process

Gum contouring involves a few steps, but it can often be completed in two visits. Here's what you can expect from the process:


The first step in gum contouring is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Markogiannakis. During this appointment, your Chevy Chase dentist will examine your gums to determine if you're a good candidate for the procedure. You’ll also be able to discuss your goals for the procedure with her and ask any questions you may have. If you’re feeling nervous, or in for an extensive procedure, your Chevy Chase dentist can also offer sedation dentistry options such as oral-conscious sedation and nitrous oxide sedation.


Before the procedure, Dr. Markogiannakis will numb your gums using a computerized anesthetic delivery method called The Wand®, helping to ensure your comfort. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, including any dietary restrictions or medication changes.

The Procedure

During the procedure, Dr. Markogiannakis will use a laser to remove excess gum tissue and reshape your gums. The laser seals blood vessels as it works, minimizing bleeding and reducing the risk of infection. This procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete.


Following the reshaping procedure, Dr. Markogiannakis will provide aftercare instructions, which may include the following:

  1. Immediately after the procedure, your gums may be swollen and tender. Dr. Markogiannakis may recommend applying ice packs to your face to help reduce swelling.
  2. You may also experience some minor bleeding from your gums, but your Chevy Chase dentist will provide gauze to help control this.
  3. She may also prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort you experience during the recovery process. Be sure to take this medication as directed.
  4. Eat a soft diet for a few days following the procedure to avoid putting pressure on your gums. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on what foods to eat and avoid during this time.
  5. You should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for a few days following the procedure, as these activities can slow down the healing process.
  6. It's important to keep your mouth clean and avoid brushing or flossing the treated area for a few days after the procedure. Your dentist may recommend using a special mouthwash to keep the area clean.
  7. You should schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist to ensure that your gums are healing properly and to address any concerns you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gum contouring painful?

Gum contouring isn’t painful, as your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic before beginning the procedure. After the procedure, you may experience some minor discomfort, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

How long does it take to recover from gum contouring?

The recovery time for gum contouring can vary depending on the extent of the treatment. Most patients can expect to fully recover within one to two weeks after the procedure. Your dentist will provide detailed aftercare instructions to help ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery.

Will my gums grow back after gum contouring?

No, once gum tissue has been removed during the gum contouring procedure, it will not grow back. However, proper dental hygiene practices can help ensure that your remaining gum tissue stays healthy and strong.

Is gum contouring covered by insurance?

In many cases, gum contouring is considered a cosmetic procedure and isn’t covered by insurance. However, exceptions might be made if the procedure is addressing more immediate concerns, such as gum disease. Your dentist and their team can work with you to help you understand your payment options and make the treatment as affordable as possible.

Call Smiles of Chevy Chase; Schedule Your Gum Contouring Consultation Today!

Ready to take the next step towards a healthy, beautiful, confident smile? Schedule a laser gum contouring consultation with Dr. Markogiannakis at Smiles of Chevy Chase by dialing 301-652-0656. You can also fill out our contact form and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.

Dr. Markogiannakis, a top dentist in the Greater Washington area, and the rest of the team at Smiles of Chevy Chase are accepting new and returning patients from Chevy Chase. We also proudly offer laser gum contouring to patients from surrounding areas such as Bethesda, Somerset, and Forest Hills, MD.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.