Gummy smiles treatment (gum lift or gingivectomy)

Smiling is something we all do – when we’re happy, when we’re laughing, even when we’re a bit nervous! The gums are as essential to a smile as teeth – but some of us can have a great deal of gum tissue covering the teeth. Having a smile with too much gum results in a gummy smile – this is sometimes known as a gingival smile. Some patients aren’t happy having a gummy smile, and they come to our clinic to find treatment solutions. We call these solutions gum lifts or gingivectomies.

gum lift contouring gummy smile woman dentist Essendon dental clinic

Causes of gummy smiles 

Some people have:

  • Lip muscles which are stronger than usual – this can cause the lips to pull up high when smiling, showing more gum 
  • Longer and larger jawbones than usual 
  • A disproportionately-sized upper lip – this can show too much gum 
  • Teeth which have naturally erupted further downwards, or their teeth may have worn down over time – both of these reasons can show more gum
  • Gums which by nature grow over the teeth – sometimes too much gum tissue grows over the tooth, leaving a lot of the tooth still hiding underneath. 

Treatments for gummy smiles 

Dentists at our Essendon clinic can treat gummy smiles using a range of options – it depends on what our patients want, and whether they have multiple factors causing their gummy smiles. We refer to the following treatments as gum lifts or gingivectomies.

Cosmetic Dental Treatment

Cosmetic dental treatment (sometimes called a gum lift). This treatment involves minor surgical procedures such as gum laser surgery, lip repositioning, or facial injectable treatments.

Gum Laser Surgery

Gum laser surgery is also known as gum contouring, gum reshaping or a gingivectomy and results in removing excess gum to make the teeth appear larger. Another reason to have the surgery is to even out the gum line. Our dentists only undertake gum laser surgery after a detailed patient consultation before the procedure. The procedure itself involves no bleeding, minimal discomfort and a healing time of about four weeks. 

Lip Repositioning

Lip repositioning is a permanent surgery solution where some or all of the upper lip muscles have their movement restricted. Under local anaesthetic, our dentists remove a small piece of tissue from the inside of the upper lip. Removing the tissue allows this area to be sewn into a lower position. Lip repositioning surgery takes less than an hour for most patients, and generally has a recovery time of 48 hours. 

Facial Injectables

Having facial injectables is temporary solution to limit movement of the upper lip muscles – it lasts for up to six months. Our dentists administer the injectable under a local anaesthetic and the medication targets the upper lip muscles, allowing them to relax and produce a smile which shows less gum. 

Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery is a solution used at our Essendon clinic – it reduces the amount of upper jaw which shows when we smile. Jaw surgery pulls the jaw higher up, to reduce the amount of gums in a patient’s smile. Jaw surgery is a reasonably intrusive surgery and it’s something that our dentists will consult with our patients in great depth  before jointly deciding if it’s the right treatment for the patient. 

Orthodontic Treatment

Some of our patients choose orthodontic treatment. This is the most complex cosmetic dentistry solution for gummy smiles that we use – the timeframe for this treatment is about two years. Our dentists apply braces and orthodontic pins which get gradually tightened to lift the jawline. 

Veneers

Veneers is another cosmetic dental treatment our patients use to correct a gummy smile – veneers increase the length of worn-down, eroded teeth. 

If you want to learn more about gum care in general, please visit our page on Periodontal Gum Care

Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before deciding on any treatment, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. 

 

Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Dental Implant Bridge

This patient had missing teeth and wanted to replace them with a more permanent option other than dentures. Two implants were placed and a bridge was made. This bridge is screwed into the implants, and is a permanent fixture.

Dental Crowns, Bridges and Fillings

This patient required dental work that involved removing all her amalgam silver fillings, and replacing them with a combination of white composite fillings as well as porcelain crowns and bridges. The results are shown below.

Dental Implants and Crowns

Duration of Treatment: 3 months

A new life changing smile, created by a combination of Dental Implants, Crowns and Veneers. A smile analysis was initially performed with our dental technician. A 3D xray was taken and implant placement carefully planned, and the end result is what you see here.

Dental Implant on a Front Tooth

Duration of Treatment: 6 months

This patient had traumatically lost her front tooth. An implant was placed, and a temporary tooth was created in the interim. After a 6 month healing process, the porcelain crown was screwed into position. This is life changing for our patients.

Dental Implants

Duration of Treatment: 3 months

Being able to replace missing teeth, especially when it can be seen when we smile, changes the way we feel dramatically. The pictures below show how we filled the gaps, and recreated this patients smile by placing two dental implants. This enhances not only the way we chew, eat and smile, but dramatically changes the life and well being of our patients.

Porcelain Veneers and Crowns

Duration of Treatment: 6 weeks

Years of grinding and clenching were chipping and breaking this man’s teeth, wearing them down significantly. He wanted a whiter, brighter and wider smile. Porcelain Veneers and Crowns were done on the top teeth to change his whole smile and made a big difference to his overall appearance. His bottom front teeth were fixed with composite veneers/bonding.