Gum lifts and grafting cosmetically enhance gum tissue and help to improve your smile. These procedures are performed when an individual has either a receding gum line (a gum grafting offers the solution) or too much gum tissue (a gum lift is necessary). They are necessary for many different reasons including poor oral hygiene, genetics, the use of tobacco products and teeth grinding.
A gum lift or grafting is a procedure to improve the appearance of the gums, which may be too low or too high on the teeth. When the gum line is too low, the teeth may look very small or the mouth might have an uneven appearance. When gums recede, the teeth are vulnerable to decay and periodontal disease which might even result in tooth loss. While a gum lift or contouring may be considered a cosmetic procedure, very often it is performed as part of pocket reduction, crown lengthening or other regenerative treatments.
The Gum Lift and Recontouring Procedure
The Oso Marguerite Dental Team in Mission Viejo are experienced professionals who have successfully assisted countless patients with periodontal surgery including gum lifts and grafting. Gum procedures are completed in our office, utilizing innovative dental technology and equipment including lasers, scalpels and radiosurgery techniques. Our goal is to keep patients comfortable throughout their procedures and involve them in the plan of care. Before any work is done, the dentist will explain exactly what will happen and may mark the gum line with a pen. This allows the patient to see how much gum will be removed or reshaped. In some cases, bone close to the root of the tooth must be removed for optimal results. The procedure typically takes about 2 hours, and patients will be given a local anesthetic to ease discomfort.
After the Procedure
Patients leave our office with complete care instructions and are invited to call with any questions or concerns. While the gums will require a number of days or possibly even several weeks to heal completely, most patients can return to normal activity soon after a gum lift or recontouring. Discomfort during recovery is often minimal, but it does vary from patient to patient. Many find relief by doing the following:
- Using pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol. Aspirin should be avoided because it can cause bleeding problems.
- Eating a soft diet. Foods like ice cream, yogurt, pasta, eggs and steamed vegetables will provide nutrition while the gums recover.
- Following instructions for brushing and other oral care. Using a soft toothbrush with gentle motions and rinsing with medicated oral rinse or warm saltwater will keep the mouth clean during the healing process.
If the gums become very swollen or bleed excessively, the dentist should be notified at once. Rarely, a patient may experience a relapse, requiring a revision of the procedure.
Gum lift and contouring is an excellent and uncomplicated way to improve the smile and restore oral health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes a gummy smile?
Gummy smiles are natural for some individuals. In some cases, they can also be caused by receding gum lines in some parts of the mouth that make the rest of the gum line appear more prominent. This is usually the result of gingivitis.
Will a gum lift alone fix my smile?
In some cases, yes. In other cases, your dentist may need to explore combining a gum lift with the use of porcelain veneers or crowns. All treatment plan options will be discussed with you after a consultation with Oso Marguerite Dental.
Is a gum lift procedure painful?
No, your gum lift procedure will be performed in our office using local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Healing time following the procedure is typically about two days.
I am still not sure whether or not a gum lift is the right choice for me. What should I do next?
A gum lift procedure is appropriate for most patients, but diagnosing your concerns and evaluating your smile is the best way for our team to determine if it is the right choice for you. Call and schedule a consultation with Oso Marguerite Dental for a complete consultation and evaluation.