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teeth & bone graft

What Is a Gum Lift?

The trend for supersized foods is currently fashionable, but no one wants oversized gums that hide their teeth. You should consider a gum lift if you notice more gum than teeth when you smile – commonly known as a gummy smile.

The Wicker Park dental team can reshape your gums in one visit, giving you a brighter, more vibrant smile. Having a smile that exudes confidence and increases your self-esteem is the right thing to do. Below, you will learn what to expect from a gum lift procedure.

Excess gum tissue

If your gums overtake your teeth, they may fall so low over the white enamel that only a small portion of the whole tooth remains. Some of your gums may go lower on some teeth than others, making it appear as if you have a crooked smile.

Why does this problem occur? Almost all people develop a gummy smile as their adult teeth come in.

Though not as common, excessive gum growth may also be caused by some medications and health conditions. This type of gum overgrowth is also called gum enlargement or gingival hyperplasia, depending on the underlying cause.

If you have gum overgrowth rather than a natural gummy smile, a gum lift becomes a treatment rather than a cosmetic procedure.

It’s important to treat gum overgrowth to maintain healthy gums. In fact, we performed gum lifts to treat gum disease for years before it became a popular cosmetic procedure.

How a gum lift works

When you get a gum lift, we give you the best balance of teeth and gums. We reduce the amount of gum tissue and sculpt what remains to perfectly frame your teeth. With a shorter gum line, your teeth immediately look longer and fuller so they take center stage when you smile.

In some cases, the underlying bone may contribute to your gummy smile. After we examine your teeth, we let you know if that’s a problem for you and explain how we can also reshape the underlying bone if needed.

We may do a gum lift procedure — also called a gingivectomy or crown lengthening — when we restore a tooth with a crown or veneer. The lift creates a larger base for the restoration, making it stronger, longer-lasting, and better looking.

Undergoing a gum lift procedure

Before starting your gum lift, we use a special type of pen to draw the shape of your new gum line. This gives you the chance to see and approve the new shape of your gums.

When you’re happy with the plan, we give you a local anesthetic and then use a laser to perform your gum lift. The laser produces well-defined edges and seals blood vessels at the same time. As a result, you don’t need stitches.

You should expect to have some swelling for a few days, but most patients find that they only have mild discomfort. You can eat and drink in 24 hours. And the best part is that your gums heal within a week.

To learn more about gum lifts, contact us at Urban Smile Dentistry or book an appointment online today.


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