Do you have what might best be described as a “gummy smile” — your gums rest too high or too low? This can seriously affect the beauty of your smile, and more alarmingly, it’s a sign you have serious gum disease. A gum lift, or gum contouring, may be just what the doctor (or your Cincinnati dentist) ordered. Also known as gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, a gum lift is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can help restore your gum line. It is technically a cosmetic dentistry procedure that is not necessary but can dramatically improve your smile.
A gum lift may be done in conjunction with other gum procedures such as adding gum tissue when recession has occurred.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession is a condition where the gum tissue pulls back from the tooth and exposes the enamel underneath. This makes your teeth look long, but it also exposes your teeth to advanced dental decay and the risk of tooth loss. It’s a sign of periodontal disease that causes the supporting structures of your teeth and gums to deteriorate. This can be a combination of bacteria, tooth and gum neglect, and bad genes.
Gum Contouring Explained
Gum reshaping is done by either your Cincinnati dentist or a periodontal specialist. A mild local anesthetic will be applied to numb the gums. Next, a soft tissue laser will strip away excess gum tissue. The laser will re-contour and seal the tissue to create the ideal shape and prevent ongoing bleeding. Sometimes, excess bone is removed along with the excess gum tissue.
The Benefits of a Gum Lift
Medically, a gum lift can decrease the chances of bacterial build up that leads to gum disease and cavities. The procedure removes the diseased part of the gums so only the healthy part remains.
How Much Does a Gum Lift Cost?
This can vary widely depending on the extent of the work — somewhere in the range of $600 to $2,000 for a single tooth. Some dental insurances don’t fully cover the procedure if it is done for cosmetic purposes. Talk to your insurance company and your Cincinnati dentist.
Following a gum lift, proper care is vital to healing in the weeks following the procedure. You’ll want to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing, but be extra gentle. Always use a soft toothbrush. Your dentist may prescribe you extra strength toothbrush. Brush thoroughly but not so hard it hurts. Blood only increases the risk for infection.
Your gums may be sore for several weeks following the treatment. Over the counter pain medication can help provide relief.