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What Is a Gum Lift?

A person’s smile is ranked as the most important physical trait among adults. A person with a good smile is often regarded as being more educated, wealthier, more successful, and having a better personality.

However, not everyone has a naturally perfect smile. More than two-thirds of Australians say they aren’t confident about their smiles. Having a gummy smile is a common reason for people to be self-conscious about their smiles.

If you have a gummy smile, this blog post is for you. Here, we will highlight everything you need to know about a gum lift, a popular procedure used to treat a gummy smile. Let’s get started. 

What Is a Gummy Smile?

While there is no exact definition for a gummy smile, it can be considered a smile that displays too much gum in relation to teeth. It is also known as excessive gingival display.

What a person considers to be a gummy smile is generally a matter of personal aesthetics, though generally speaking, 3 to 4 millimetres of exposed gumline is considered excessive.

A gummy smile is very common. It is estimated that up to 10% of people between the age of 20 and 30 years consider their smiles too gummy. Women are more likely than men to believe that their smiles show too much of their gumline.

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Several different factors can contribute to a gummy smile. For example, the specific way adult teeth come in can result in a gummy smile. The differences in the growth of teeth can mean that too much (or not enough gum) is visible when a person smiles, while in some cases, the gumline may appear crooked.

A gummy smile can also occur when a person’s upper lip is on the shorter side. Lips that a hypermobile (i.e. they move a large amount when a person smiles) may also expose more gumline, leading to a gummy smile.

Certain medications may also result in the excessive growth of the gums around the teeth, a condition known as gingival hyperplasia. Medication used to treat high blood pressure or prevent seizures may cause the overgrowth of the gums.

What Is a Gum Lift?

A gum lift, also known as Gum Contouring, is a procedure to treat a gummy smile. Generally, a gummy smile is regarded as an aesthetic or cosmetic issue and does not typically affect a person’s health.

It is a simple and common procedure that can dramatically improve a person’s smile and have a knock-on effect on their self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, a gum lift procedure will be performed before other treatments, such as the fitting of porcelain veneers, to correct the height and alignment of the gum. In other cases, it is the sole procedure required to correct an uneven gum line.

What Steps Are Involved in a Gum Lift?

Here at Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry, we perform gum lifts using a medical-grade laser in four easy steps. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

1. Preparation

To ensure a pain-free experience during the procedure, we apply a local anaesthetic to the gum area. You will remain awake during the procedure, which typically takes around 1 hour, depending on the specific case.

2. Gum Contouring

A soft tissue laser removes the excess gum tissue and resculpts the gumline to expose more of the teeth. The laser seals the tissues as it works, allowing for precise control and a minimum amount of bleeding.

3. Final Adjustment

As the procedure progresses, more of the enamel of the tooth is revealed, which creates a larger and better-shaped tooth.

4. Final Review

Around a week after the procedure, the gums will be reviewed. If necessary, adjustments will be performed to achieve the desired look.

The good news is that a gum lift is a minimally invasive procedure, and there is minimal downtime, allowing you to enjoy your smile immediately.

Is the Procedure Painful?

As highlighted above, you will be given local anesthesia before the procedure starts. This numbs the gums so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure itself. It is normal to feel some numbness and tenderness immediately afterward the procedure, though this will be short-lived.

The amount of discomfort and the length of recovery will depend on how much of the gum has to be removed or reshaped. You may be prescribed a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or panadol. Aspirin is typically not recommended as it can cause bleeding.

Another effective way to reduce swelling or pain following the procedure is to apply a cold compress or ice pack to the mouth for a few days. This should be used for around 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Depending on the extent of the procedure, the downtime may be between just a few days and a number of weeks. In the first few days after the procedure, it is best only to eat soft foods. Recommended foods to eat include yogurt and soup.

Schedule Your Gum Lift Procedure With Us

The bottom line is that a gum lift is a popular procedure designed to reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. A gummy smile may be caused by the way teeth grow in, the length of the upper lip, the way the lips move when a person smiles, and the use of certain medications.

In Adelaide, your premier choice for a gum lift procedure is Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry. Contact our expert team today to book an appointment. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you achieve your ideal smile.

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