What’s a Gum Lift?

What is the most prominent feature of movie stars like Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie? Well, it’s their expansive, bright smile! But not everyone is blessed with a perfect set of pearly whites embedded in naturally beautiful gums. Calling gums beautiful might sound odd to some, as they aren’t among the most prominent body parts. However, gums make a huge difference in adding to the charisma of your smile. That’s why a gum lift or gingivectomy is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, and why some may need this procedure.

Gum lift sculpts the gum line to expose more tooth enamel. The goal is to make the teeth appear bigger and brighter as more white area become visible. The gum line is reshaped with the goal to enhance the look of teeth, making them seem more uniform. The hope being, as more surface area of the teeth becomes exposed, the smile becomes more attractive and eye-catching.

The Procedure

A gum lift is a surgical process, thus it’s important to induce anesthesia. A periodontist or gum specialist performs this procedure. The candidate is administered with a local anesthetic which makes the procedure nearly painless for most patients. The dentist then uses a scalpel or a laser, based on the cost and preference, to remove excess part of the gums. Recovery time also varies from case to case. It can some days or some weeks for the gums to fully recover.

Once the surgery is over and the effect of the anesthetic wears off, many patients may feel discomfort. However, the dentist will prescribe medicine which will ease the pain to a great degree for most patients. Special care must be provided to the gums during the healing phase. Brushing and flossing must be done very gently after the surgery. Rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash is also recommended by many dentists.

Do You Need a Gum Lift?

Although gum lift is primarily a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of your smile, other factors like gum disease or gingivitis may necessitate it. In most cases, there are two types of reasons to consider a gum lift:

Medical Reasons

If you are suffering from a gum disease that has left your gums swollen, inflamed, or bleeding, consulting with your dentist about a gum lift may be helpful. Patients with sensitive teeth and overgrown gums, sometimes opt for this procedure as well. Several common reasons why a person may have overgrown gums or gums that are too low may include genetics, health conditions, or certain prescription drugs.

Cosmetic Reasons

If you have a gummy smile and do not like it, a gum lift may help you get your desired smile. Teeth sometimes appear too small when covered by excess gums. In such a case, the smile may look less appealing. To make the teeth appear wider and longer and to get the much-needed confidence to smile freely, you may want to consult with your dentist about whether or not you are a good candidate for a gum lift.

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your smile, or feel you are dealing with daily discomfort and pain, stop by our Tulsa, OK dental office to see a dentist who can help you plan the treatment that suits your needs and lifestyle.