If you have an uneven or low gum line that’s very visible and covers your teeth, you may be considering a gum lift. Often called a ‘gummy smile’ and technically known as gingival exposure, a gum lift is a straightforward procedure that can really transform your smile and take away any self-consciousness you might feel.

  • What is a gum lift?
  • It’s a cosmetic procedure that lifts the gum line above where it naturally sits. The gum tissue is reshaped to the desired place. Sometimes it includes reshaping the bone underneath. The simplest version of the procedure is called ‘gum sculpting’. This is where a laser is used to retrim the line of the gum. Discomfort is minimal and a local anaesthetic can be used if you’re worried. The laser means there’s less bleeding and the process is quick and fuss-free. This procedure is suitable for a millimetre or less of gum. The healing time is a matter of hours. Usually it’s only the front teeth that need the procedure, as these are the only ones that are visible.

    • Surgery
    • If you need to remove 2 millimetres or more, then a ‘surgical lift’ is required. Here the gums are separated from the bone, the bone is reduced slightly, and the gum stitched back in a slightly higher place. In this situation the advice is to also opt for veneers or crowns, so the gum can’t simply regrow back to its old place. For this reason, surgery is usually permanent, whereas simple contouring may not last forever. The advantage with this procedure is that veneers can help cover other dental problems you might want to correct, such as a gap in teeth or excessive staining.

      • Afterwards
      • Gums might be sore for a few days but there’s no need to take time off work. Painkillers can relieve any discomfort. Stick to soft food for a few days to be safe, and avoid spicy food, or anything with small seeds that might get stuck under gums. Be careful with brushing and flossing, but don’t stop your normal dental hygiene routine.

        • Benefits
        • A gum lift can improve the look of your smile by balancing out the features. As more of the teeth are visible, they appear longer, and gums are minimised. You’ll probably have more self-confidence afterwards too! At Drs. Nicolas & Asp, a gum lift is performed by a specialist periodontist and in one single appointment. The care is of the same high quality you would receive for any surgical procedure. In the past gum lifts were used to treat gum disease, removing the affected areas. It’s actually only in the last few years that it’s been used for aesthetic reasons. It can still however be used to help treat gum disease today.

          • Things to consider
          • To have a gum lift, you must have teeth that are otherwise in good condition. The periodontist can’t risk exposing the tooth root – so, there must be enough ‘hidden’ tooth surface under the gum for the reshaping to be possible. Bear in mind that if you have gum recession, you may have other underlying problems that need to be resolved. Those whose teeth have been worn down by grinding can also have the appearance of lower gums - when that’s not actually the case. It’s best to ask a dental surgery like Drs. Nicolas & Asp for advice on your individual situation, and considering your own dental history.

            • Who needs a gum lift?
            • If you haven’t looked after your teeth properly then you might have suffered from receding gums, which can make gum appear to be uneven. Or, you might have perfectly healthy teeth and simply have naturally lower gums. In either case, gum reshaping and contouring can help give a more attractive and pleasing effect. Gingival exposure is also more common in women than in men.

              • Seeing your dentist
              • Your periodontist will go through the procedure with you carefully, and make sure you’re entirely happy with your new look before any work takes place. Make an appointment today and fix your gummy smile for good!

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