John Powers, DMD

UncategorizedWhat is a Gum Lift?

What is a Gum Lift?

Gum Lift or Gum Lifting

Gingivectomy otherwise known as gum lifting is a cosmetic(surgical) dental procedure that improves the aesthetics of your smile by “lifting” the gum line of your teeth. This ensures the best possible position to show on your teeth and that great smile of yours!

This cosmetic treatment is also done with other surgical treatments such as veneers or crowns. The goal of gum lift is to restructure the excessive gum tissue surrounding your teeth so your gums are symmetrical in nature to your smile instead of a “gummy smile”

What is a “Gummy Smile”?

gummy smile is a condition in which a person’s teeth appear small, due to an uncommon amount of gingival tissue, or gums. In other words, the gums cover more of the top third of the tooth than is aesthetically pleasing. When a smile does not display the least amount of gum tissue, even, balanced, and congruent with the upper lip, people can feel they have an unattractive, gummy smile. Those who present with a gummy smile are often embarrassed to show their teeth. They can become self-conscious and lack self-esteem.

In the past, gum lifts, or gingivectomies, were painful procedures. The gums were cut with a scalpel, stitches placed, and recovery lasted weeks. Advances in dental technology make today’s gingivectomies a simple, commonly performed procedure.

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What causes “Gummy Smile”?

Here is a list of potential reasons for having a “Gummy Smile”:

  • Abnormal tooth eruption: The teeth are of normal length, but because of their abnormal eruption they appear shorter.
  • Altered active eruption: The teeth erupt correctly, but are covered with too much bone and gum tissue.
  • Altered passive eruption: The teeth and bone are within normal parameters, but the teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.
  • Upper jaw protrusion: During the development of the jaw, the bone protrudes into the gum tissue, creating a gummy smile.
  • Hyperactive upper lip: The upper lip is higher than normal revealing too much gum.
  • Hypermobile upper lip: When smiling, the facial muscles pull the top lip up too high, revealing too much gum.
  • Short upper lip: The upper lip is too short, revealing too much gum.
  • Vertical maxillary access: The vertical dimension of the upper jaw is longer than it should be.
  • Super-eruption of the top front teeth: When the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw, the top teeth drift lower, pulling the gum tissue with them.
  • Bruxism: When people grind their teeth, or brux, they wear away tooth structure, shortening their teeth. As a result, the upper teeth super-erupt, meaning they move down to come into contact with the lower teeth, bringing the gum tissue with them.

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