Gum Lift

Enhancing Your Smile A gummy smile, often resulting from genetics, is characterized by excessive gum tissue covering the teeth. Some individuals may have experienced improper gum tissue recession when their adult teeth came in. While a low gum line is not considered a deformity and does not typically impact oral health negatively, it may be a source of concern for those who desire a more aesthetically pleasing smile. It's worth noting that a gum lift is generally categorized as an elective cosmetic procedure and is not commonly covered by dental insurance plans. However, the cost of a gum lift is typically lower compared to other cosmetic dentistry treatments that provide similar improvements to the appearance of your smile, such as veneers.

A gum lift, also known as a gingival lift or gingivectomy, involves the removal or reshaping of gum tissue to reveal more of the tooth, creating the appearance of longer teeth. Some individuals are naturally born with excess gum tissue, which makes their teeth appear unusually short or small. For individuals with gummy smiles who are bothered by the excess gum tissue around their teeth, a gum lift can provide an aesthetic solution.

What Is A Gum Lift?

A gum lift is essentially a surgical procedure that removes a small amount of gum tissue where your gums meet your teeth. Typically, this procedure is performed on the upper front teeth because they are the most visible when you smile and speak.

Gum lifts are also referred to as gum contouring. When described in this manner, it may be more about achieving a uniform gum line rather than specifically addressing a gummy smile. Some patients may have varying amounts of gum tissue covering the tops of their teeth, resulting in an uneven smile appearance. Gum contouring can rectify this issue and create a more balanced smile, often without the need for braces.

Procedure Overview

A gum lift is sometimes confused with crown lengthening, which is a separate procedure involving the removal of both gum and bone tissue. Gum lifts focus solely on the removal of excess gum tissue. It's important to note that gum lifts are primarily cosmetic procedures and do not treat any underlying disease. Several other types of gum surgery, often associated with advanced gum disease (periodontitis), may have cosmetic benefits but are primarily performed for health reasons.

Recent advancements in dental technology have made gum lifts more appealing to patients. Modern laser technology has transformed gum lifts, making them faster, nearly painless, and associated with shorter recovery times. In the past, gum lifts were performed through incisions and sometimes required sutures. Today, most dentists use a soft tissue laser to gently remove excess gum tissue. The laser simultaneously cauterizes blood vessels, reducing bleeding, minimizing swelling, and accelerating the healing process.

Gum lifts may be combined with other cosmetic procedures as part of a comprehensive smile makeover, particularly after orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Alternatives to lengthening teeth, such as veneers or bonding, may also be considered in conjunction with or as an alternative to a gum lift. If you've been informed that you have a gummy smile or small teeth, a gum lift may be a suitable option to enhance the overall appearance of your smile.