pros and cons of gum recontouring

Since your soft gum tissues frame every tooth in your mouth, gum lifts can significantly impact the overall appearance of your smile. A gum lift is a procedure where our Long Island cosmetic dentists adjust the shape and “height” of your gingiva (gum tissue.)


When gumlines are atypical or there’s an excess of gingiva, a gum lift can reduce the extent of tissue and reveal a larger tooth surface. The overall gum lift treatment can be completed in one visit with practically immediate results.


Benefits of Gum Lifts


Healthier Looking Teeth — Have you ever felt like something was “off” about your smile? It may be that it’s not your teeth at all. Maybe it’s your gum tissues. Gum lifts can help bring out the best of your smile’s appearance by ensuring your gingiva is contoured around each tooth in a way that compliments their natural shape. Plus, if you recently recovered from periodontal disease and have deep pockets that are too challenging to clean, a gum lift can double as a pocket reduction treatment.


Evens Out Your Smile — Does your smile look asymmetrical? Crooked? Take a close glance to see if your teeth are uneven or if it’s actually your gumlines. Uneven gingival margins can give the illusion that your teeth are different sizes, making your overall smile seem uneven. Gum lifts on specific teeth can easily even out your gumlines to perfectly frame your healthy teeth. Creating symmetrical teeth is one of the most vital aspects of an effective smile makeover plan


Erases Gummy Smiles — Excessive gingiva or gums that are covering too much tooth enamel can make your smile look “gummy.” When you smile in photos or look in the mirror, you may be seeing even more gum tissues than tooth. Although a gummy smile is sometimes due to tight lip muscles, the other can be due to low gumlines. Naturally, a gum lift raises the level where the gingiva falls on your teeth. That way as soon as you smile around other people, less gingiva is visible.


Helps Teeth Look Longer and Fuller — Cosmetic gum lifts reveal a larger surface area of your tooth enamel. So, if your teeth have too much gingiva covering the anatomical crown (the part that’s typically visible above the gums) lifting the tissue naturally makes your tooth look larger and fuller. People who have teeth that look short or uneven because of the gums can see same-day results thanks to our Long Island laser gum lift options. Depending on what your tooth anatomy is like, a gum lift may be the perfect alternative to dental veneers or bonding.



It Can be Completed with a Laser — Years ago, getting a gum lift meant a semi-surgical, invasive procedure. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case! Soft tissue laser therapy makes the process straightforward, gentle, and efficient. The laser technology is FDA-approved and gently cauterizes the edges of your new gumline as the tissues are adjusted. That means there’s practically no bleeding or swelling, like what would be typical with older gum surgery techniques. Lasers minimize discomfort and require far less time to complete your cosmetic procedure. Each of our Long Island dentists are laser certified.



There’s Practically No Recovery Time — Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of laser gum lifts over traditional gum surgery is the post-surgical recovery. A couple of decades ago, you would have to wear a medicated dressing over your gum lift site and significantly limit your diet as your mouth healed. But now since your gums are adjusted with a laser, there aren’t any incision sites to manage. That means no dressings or sutures. You can go back to eating and drinking whenever you’re ready to and won’t have to change up your diet that much (except for maybe avoiding hard or crunchy foods for the first day.) Thanks to nearly zero swelling, you won’t see the same level of post-operative discomfort as what’s common in other oral surgery procedures.



Risks of Gum Lifts


Any time you remove gum tissue to reveal a larger surface area of your teeth, you run the risk of potential sensitivity. Teeth can be highly sensitive, depending on what portion of the structure is exposed. All teeth are covered in thousands of tiny pores called tubules, which house nerve endings. If those tubules were covered and suddenly uncovered, it may come as a bit of a shock to the tooth. Fortunately, time and sensitivity treatments can help combat the symptoms.


If the roots of teeth become exposed, you no longer have the dense layer of enamel covering the full tooth. Instead, the next layer of tooth known as dentin is exposed. Dentin is much more sensitive than enamel, so it’s best that it stays completely covered by gum tissues.


Along those lines, dentin is at an extremely greater risk of developing tooth decay. That’s why exposed tooth roots need to be covered with a gum graft or some type of bonded filling. Should your gum lift reach a point to where the anatomical root is exposed, you’ll need to discuss the best game plan with our Long Island dentists.


Another possible concern is recession. Recession isn’t typically a risk per se after gum lifts, unless the area is traumatized in a physical manner. For instance, if you brush too aggressively or use a stiff-bristled toothbrush, the gums may creep further up the tooth instead of maintaining the level achieved through your gum lift treatment.



Should You Get a Gum Lift?


Sachem Dental Group offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments to choose from. Gum lifts may play a part in your smile makeover plan, depending on your unique physical characteristics. During your consultation, our Suffolk County cosmetic dentists will discuss the benefits of various procedures and how they can work together to help you achieve the results you’re looking for. Including gum lifts.


Learn more about the overall gum lift process and find out if you’re a candidate for this unique aesthetic service. Schedule a smile design consultation at our Long Island practice today to get started.