3rd South Dental

What is a gum lift?

A smile in need of a gum lift

What is a gum lift?

You may have heard the term, seen it advertised in your dentist’s office or know someone who has had it done, but what is a gum lift?

A gum lift is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess gum tissue in a patient who has a ‘gummy smile’ and can also be used to restore a receding gum line. However, it is not a new surgery, as in years gone by it was used as a treatment for gum disease. Now it is mainly a cosmetic treatment used to create the appearance of longer or more symmetrical teeth through the manipulation of the gum tissue. Another term for this procedure is crown lengthening, which entails the raising, sculpting and reshaping of the gum line.

The gum lift procedure:

A consultation visit allows the dentist to take note of the patient’s wants, explain the procedure and illustrate what the patient’s new gum line will look like. The procedure can be completed in one visit.

During the procedure, the gum tissue is numbed before it is trimmed and reshaped with a laser or dentistry tools. The gum tissue can also be separated from the bone, if necessary, so that the bone can be shaved down. The gum tissue is then stitched back in to the new position.

Medication for the discomfort and swelling is provided so the patient can get back to normal life as soon as possible. It is recommend to stay away from sticky or spicy foods, and anything that will irritate the gums while they are healing. Patients need to pay extra special attention to their daily dental care during the healing process and should gently brush and floss their teeth, as well as use antibacterial mouthwash.

Are you in need of a gum lift?

If you feel you have a gummy smile, your teeth are partly covered by your gums which gives them a shorter appearance, or you have an uneven gum line, then a gum lift may be the answer to getting the aesthetically pleasing smile you have always wanted. Patients who have a receding gum line due to gum disease or other dental conditions can also have a gum lift to restore their gum line and protect the roots of their teeth.

Other examples of candidates for the surgery can be individuals who are born with thin lips, which can contribute to the idea of having a gummy smile. Individuals who grind their teeth can also develop a gummy smile as their teeth are worn down from the grinding. In this case, a gum lift can create the illusion that the patient’s teeth are longer than they are.

However, all patients, regardless of their reason for a gum lift, must have healthy teeth and roots that are able to be further exposed without harming the function and structure of the tooth, to be able to be considered for the surgery.