Gum Lift/Esthetic Recontouring can enhance a smile by removing damaged or excess gum tissue. Sometimes patients have a gummy smile that they feel detracts from their features. Shaping and thinning the tissue to look more natural and fit better around the teeth can add to the beauty of the smile. This procedure is considered cosmetic and is typically not covered by dental insurance.
Gummy Smiles have different causes that can be related to the lips, irregular jaw development or the eruption process. Depending on the etiology the traditional methods of treatment are orthodontics, periodontal (gum) surgery, or orthognathic surgery. Non-traditional treatments include using Neuromodulators like Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport that can be injected into the muscles of the upper lip making them relax and drop. And a lip repositioning surgery to keep the lip from rising as far when smiling can be done. Acceptable amounts of gum show is subjective, but most say 2-3 mm is the limit for an attractive smile. The good news is that a gummy smile makes you look younger!
The gum lift procedure is simple. It involves numbing and then a technique is done to determine if bone needs to be removed to give more long-lasting results. The total procedure usually takes less than an hour and often only anti-inflammatory medication is needed for a day or two. A healing time of 4-6 weeks is needed for crown lengthening procedures removing bone.