Some people have what is colloquially termed as a “gummy” smile. This type of smile refers to smiles where the gum line overlaps with much of the teeth. Here at Riverside Dental Care, our dentists have helped many people alter their gum line and achieve their ideal smile.
What Is A Gum Lift?
A gum lift—also called a gingivectomy, tissue sculpting, crown lengthening or gum contouring— is a type of cosmetic dentistry procedure where the gum line is altered to improve the aesthetics of a person’s smile. During a gum lift, our dentist removes excess gum tissue to create an even appearance.
This gum contouring can also be paired with other cosmetic dental procedures such as whitening and veneers to ensure that the smile turns out perfect.
Why Uneven Gums Happen
There can be a number of reasons that cause a gummy smile, some of which require dental procedures other than a gum lift. However, those gummy smiles can be repaired by a gum lift if they are caused by:
- Genetics is a common cause of gummy smiles. If you have noticed several family members with a similar gummy smile, genetics is likely the source behind your gummy smile.
- Small teeth, or just a few teeth, may be small in comparison to the amount of gum tissue you have available.
- An uneven gum line due to teeth failing to completely erupt from the gum tissue properly.
Who Can Benefit From Gum Contouring
There are many reasons why someone may choose to have their gums contoured by one of our dentists here at Riverside Dental Care, such as:
More appealing smile – For purely aesthetic reasons, you can choose to have your gums evened and raised. This procedure can immediately change how your smile is shaped and allow you to smile broadly without concern about how much gum you are showing.
Trim overgrown gum tissue – If your gums have become overgrown and are in the way of the functionality of your mouth, a gum lift can easily trim off any excess gum tissue. Thanks to the soft tissue laser that is used to stop gum bleeding, your gums will be less likely to regrow the removed gum tissue.
Pocket reduction – Gum diseases like gingivitis can hide under your gums and be unreachable by a toothbrush or by a dental tool. With a gum lift, our dentists can reach the pockets of tartar and bacteria that are the source of infection.
Gum Lift Considerations
As a gum lift is a relatively simple dental procedure, there are not many extra considerations when looking into a gingivectomy. The few things you may want to consider are:
- Gum tissue may come back over time.
- You may experience an allergic reaction to the anesthetic, which is very rare.
- The cost of a gum lift can range from $300 to $3,000, depending on how much needs to be done.
What Happens During A Gum Lift
When you come in for a gum lift at Riverside Dental Care, your dental procedure will generally follow this order:
- The gums being worked on will be numbed to prevent discomfort.
- One of our dentists will draw a line for you to see where the gum will be lifted.
- Once the indicated area is to your satisfaction, our dentist will cut away the indicated gum tissue.
- With a soft tissue laser, our dentist will then seal off the gum tissue to keep the bleeding to a minimum.
Gum Lift Recovery
If the only cosmetic dentistry procedure you undergo is the gum lift, you should have a fairly quick recovery time as you can eat and drink 24 hours after your procedure. Within a week, your gums should be completely healed.
While you can eat whatever you want after the 24-hour mark, there are some foods that are better for you to avoid with your healing gums. Foods to avoid during your recovery week are:
- Hard and/or sticky candies
- Crackers, popcorn, and hard snacks that leave particles
- Extremely hot or cold foods
Should there be any pain after your gum lift procedure, you can simply use over-the-counter pain medication to address the problem. One with an anti-inflammatory component such as Tylenol should be enough to alleviate any pain you may experience.
Lastly, be sure to come in for your follow-up appointments with our dentists. They will be able to monitor your recovery and ensure that your smile stays healthy.
If you are interested in receiving a gum lift or other cosmetic dental procedures from Riverside Dental Care, contact us to set up a consultation today.