Gum Lifts, Gum Reshaping and Gum Re-Contouring… Everything You Need to Know

Many people find that they have problems with their gums, either showing too much tooth (typically on the upper front teeth) and looking long in the tooth or not showing enough tooth and having a gummy smile. This blog post is dedicated to helping people understand more about how dumb lifts, reshaping and recontouring can help with a gummy or long in the tooth smile

We are going to break this blog post down into 2 sections:

  1. gummy smile
  2. long in the tooth smile

Treating a Gummy Smile

There are a few different ways to treat a gummy smile:

  • Gum lift, also known as gum reshaping or gum recontouring.
  • Botox or similar Botulinum Type a Toxin

What is a gum lift?

A lift would typically be undertaken on someone who shows a lot of gum on the upper teeth when they smile AND their teeth appear too small/short.

gummy smile
Image credit: Ramu coolhimesh – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The reason both of these criteria need to be in place is because if we removed gum from someone who’s teeth looked too long then this would make their teeth look even longer, if this is you then an alternative treatment may need to be sought.

The Gum Lift Procedure

Prior to the surgical phase of the gum left your dentist will usually go through some form of pretreatment diagnosis and planning. This can very often involve production of a surgical guide.

Dental impressions will be taken of your existing smile and sent to a laboratory, they can then work out the ideal amount of gum to be removed, a plastic guide can then be manufactured following this contour of where the gum should be removed, the plastic guide can then be placed back into your mouth and this shows your dentist exactly how much gum needs to be removed. The treatment can also be used for an even gums and treating an uneven gum line.

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The gum lift is very often performed using a special laser which cauterises the gum as it goes meaning you have very little bleeding , the healing process is also very quick.

The soft tissue in your mouth, such as your gum tends to heal incredibly quickly and after only a few days the pain should have gone and you should begin to see the new results of your beautiful smile.

Treating a Gummy Smile with Botox

whilst a gum lift treats the gums to improve the look a gummy smile, treatment with Botox treats the lips to hide the gummy smile, rather than the gum tissue.

Very often a gummy smile is caused by the lips pulling back too far from your teeth when you smile, treatment with Botox can help to reduce the amount of muscle movement when you smile and relaxed the top lip. This has the effect of showing less gum in a broad smile and making the gummy smile look less pronounced.

Not everyone is suitable for this less invasive treatment as it depends upon the reason for your gummy smile. If it’s because your teeth are too small then treatment with Botox may only go a small way to helping, you may need a small amount of gum lift re-contouring surgery in addition to the Botox.

What can I do about my receding gums?

Receding gums and gum recession are on the opposite end of the spectrum to gum lift surgery. Receding gums are a natural phenomenon which happened as we age. The bone in your jaw tends to resorb and as it does so this takes the level of the gum with it, the older we get the less bone density and volume we have in our mouths and the longer our teeth look. tTooth sensitivity is also exacerbated with receding gums as the more sensitive dentine of your tooth becomes exposed.

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to gum recession caused by gum disease. As the gums become inflamed and infected the bone underneath begins to resorb and pull away, this then means the gums reduce in size also. This process can continue until the inflammation and/or infection is under control. Good oral hygiene with a good brush and floss technique is the best way to prevent this.

Gum re-contouring surgery including gum grafts may be able to help if this is severe. A gum graft involves taking a donor area of oral soft tissue, usually from the roof of your mouth, and then crafting it over their front of your teeth in order to produce a new cosmetically pleasing gum line.

How to Prevent Receding Gums

If your gum recession is due to age then this can be very difficult to prevent as everyone ages!

There are however a few things you can do to keep the resort option under control.

  • Switch to an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor. Sometimes patients brush too hard using a conventional toothbrush, this can then damage the gums which respond by resorb in. Many electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors and using one of these can highlight if you are pressing too hard when you clean your teeth.
  • Brush from the gum towards the tooth. If you brush the other way round and away from the neck of the tooth, reversing the brushing action and brushing the gum back down onto the tooth can have a long-term effect and help to reduce the amount of gum recession.
  • Avoid over cleaning in one area. Many people, particularly if they use a manual toothbrush, find that their lower right hand area of the teeth gets over brush with a manual toothbrush, this is typically around the lower right canine (eye tooth) area. This over brushing can again result in gum recession.

Producing Popping Pus from Puffy Kernels of Popcorn?

Popcorn—the perfect companion for cinemas or a simple movie viewing at home.

These puffy kernels are healthy snack options for those who crave guilt-free indulgences. A tub of popcorn contains unprocessed whole grains, which contain fibre and antioxidants. If you do not overload your popcorn with salt, oil or butter, it is low in calories, sodium and fat.

gum abscessYou might wonder: ‘What is not to like about popcorn, then?’ Ask your dental practice or periodontist and they will reply with two words: gum abscess.

What is Gum Abscess?

Abscess occurs when a pus formation affects your teeth or gums. The pus is a result of your body’s effort to fight the threat of bacteria from infecting your mouth. Your immune system sends white blood cells to the infected area to get rid of harmful germs.

An abscess forms when your body cannot drain the pus. It manifests due to tooth decay or cavity, deep pockets between the gums or trauma (food or debris embedded in the gum). In terms of trauma, dentists point to one foreign object that appears to be the leading culprit in most abscess cases: popcorn hulls.

Popcorn’s Role in Causing Inflammation

Ever wondered why kernels often lodge themselves between your gums? The kernels’ tough and rounded coatings often conform to the tooth crown’s round shape. It is easy for the hulls to slip between the tiny gaps of your teeth and gums (pockets). Once these kernels are stuck, it is difficult to remove them with a toothbrush, floss or even a toothpick.

The presence of foreign matter leads to abscess, which results in toothache or throbbing pain in the gums. Other symptoms include swelling and redness of the mouth and of your face. With severe cases, you might suffer from vomiting, nausea, chills, fever or diarrhoea.

Your Next Step

Seek a dentist’s help right away if you are suffering the symptoms. Dental practices often use x-rays and other dental instruments to remove the source of infection, as well as drain the fluid from the pus. It seems scary but abscess often responds immediately to the procedure. Your dentist might also prescribe medications to soothe the inflammation.

You can still enjoy popcorn—just be mindful of this issue and always mind your gums. Partner with Aesthetic Smiles for a healthier and abscess-free smile. Call us now for a free consultation.

To Chew or Not to Chew: Can Chewing Gum Help your Teeth and Gums?

People have been chewing gum for hundreds of years. Resin and latex from some trees are part of the natural progression of people’s desire for something to chew on. This little activity not only satisfies your sweet cravings; it also gives you something to do as you wait in line or walk down the street.

gum chewingBut like any type of sweets, people concerned with their oral health yet love gum ask the question, ‘to chew or not to chew gum?

Gum-chewing: yea or nay to health?

Fortunately for gum lovers, dentists support the occasional gum. In fact, the British Dental Association recognises Wrigley’s Orbit as a promoter of oral health. When you chew gum, especially after meals, you generate enough saliva that washes the acids away. This helps prevent plaque development and cavities.

When it comes to chewing your favourite gum, the type you chew makes an entire difference. Gum containing sugar increases cavity development, which is why you should resort to sugar-free gums.

Sugar-free chewing gums for cleaner teeth

Chewing sugar-free gums after meals rinses off and neutralises acids, which are harmful to your teeth. The gum’s artificial sweeteners combined with the act of chewing encourage ten times the normal rate of saliva. The increased saliva flow washes off food particles and helps keep your teeth clean.

Sugar-free gum sweetened with Xylitol also inhibits the growth of oral bacteria that causes cavities. With xylitol, bacteria cannot affect your teeth. Xylitol use discourages the development of different bacteria types in the mouth.

When to chew or not to chew

While gum chewing offers numerous benefits to your oral health, there are some cases where dentists would recommend against it. If you are suffering from Temporomandibular disorder symptoms (TMJ/TMD) or any type of jaw pain, you should not chew gum. Your dentist will recommend other options to satiate your gum chewing needs.

Also, gum chewing should not serve as a replacement or substitute for brushing and flossing. Always brush your teeth twice a day and follow that with floss.

For most people, sugar-free gums are preventative measures that care for your oral health. Still, gum should never replace good oral practices.

At Aesthetic Smiles, we help you develop good dental hygiene and also provide professional dental services. Love your teeth more and get in touch with us now.

Smile With Your Teeth, Not Your Gums

Some people are unhappy with their smile, when all they see are gums instead of teeth. Indeed, the ‘gummy smile’ makes them conscious about their mouth, which is bad for their self-esteem.

What is it?

gum contouringA gummy smile happens when people show excessive gum tissue that goes beyond the normal gum line. Doctors note that around 14% of women and 7% of men have excessive gingival exposure when smiling. Although it does not have detrimental effects in oral health, it may cause some people to lose confidence.

Why does it happen?

Abnormal teeth eruption may lead to a gummy smile. Some teeth do not grow in proportion with other teeth, making them look smaller than the gums.

Short teeth due to excessive tooth wear and tear are a culprit behind gummy smiles as well. Gum tissues may grow longer to make up for the lost tooth length and maintain a proper bite.

Deviations in upper jawbone development may be another contributing factor. An excessive bulging protrusion of the upper jaw may give the appearance of a gummy smile.

How do you solve it?

Doctors perform gum contouring to fix gummy smiles. They use lasers and other cutting tools to remove excess gum tissue and reshape it, allowing the teeth to show through when people open their mouth. In other cases, they may have to remove some bone along with the gum tissue.

Gum contouring is safe and painless as doctors apply anaesthesia and avoid touching the teeth’s roots during the procedure. Patients may experience only a little soreness after the procedure. It takes one day to complete the treatment and only a few days for the gums to fully heal.

Saying goodbye to a gummy smile

A gummy smile can be bad for self-esteem so this is not something people should be stuck with. With the right cosmetic dentist, people can smile with their pearly whites showing through—not their gums.

At Aesthetic Smiles, we can help you smile with your teeth, not your gums. We provide complete gum contouring services to help you feel happier and more confident about your smile.

Click here for more information about our services.

Are You Bothered By Your Gummy Smile?

The appeal of smile both involves appearance and perception. When patients look for treatment to improve their smile, it is because they have a legitimate problem. Excessive gums seem harmless, but this feature may be a source of a person’s low self-esteem.

gum contouringThe smile may appear too “gummy”, when too much gum tissue is prominent or the teeth are too small. The degree of “gumminess” is a matter of perception, and can vary from person to person.

Generally, a smile is considered gummy if four millimetres of gums tissue appears when the smiles. The problem does not lie on the gums per se, but on the gum-to-teeth proportion. In addition, the position of the upper jaw and lips can contribute to the gummy appearance.

Fortunately, there are options to correct or alter this problem. If it begins to leave significant impacts on your comfort and willingness to smile, the most advisable measure is to seek treatment.

Transform your Smile with Gum Contouring

One of the most effective ways to correct a gummy smile is by gum contouring. While the procedure may sound frightening, it is quick, simple and painless. It works by reshaping and altering the gums.

Prior to the treatment, the gums will be numbed using a local anaesthetic. Our dentist will determine how much of the tissue needs to be removed.

The goal is to correct the tooth-to-gum proportion by trimming away the excess gum and allowing more of the tooth’s structure to be visible. This will make the teeth appear more elongated. The procedure will utilise an advanced form of laser treatment to reshape the gums.

Gummy smiles occur for different reasons and proper diagnosis is crucial. The gumminess effect can be a cause of more than just an aesthetic flaw, but a periodontal disease.

It is important to consult our specialist so they can assess your condition. You will work together on a strategy to create a beautiful, healthy-looking smile suited to your lifestyle.

Contact Aesthetic Smiles today.

Gum Recession: What it is and Why it Happens

Most people have gingival recession or commonly known as receding gum. In fact, a study revealed that it occurs to more than 50% of all adults in the UK.

What it is

oral hygieneGum recession is a condition where a portion of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth deteriorates and pulls back. Signs include exposed teeth’s roots, sensitive teeth and the appearance of longer teeth. Once gum tissue recedes, there is no way to grow it back naturally.

This condition may cause more oral problems. Pockets form between the teeth and gum line, which may trap food and disease-causing bacteria. These increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease, which will eventually lead to damage and tooth loss.

Why it happens

Gum recession can be a cause or effect of certain factors, such as heredity, chronic gum disease and malocclusion. The recurring infections prevent gum tissues to recover and return. In addition, a misaligned teeth and bite will place excessive force on gums and bone, causing them to recede.

Poor oral care is another factor. Overaggressive brushing and flossing causes the gums to pull away further from the gum line. In addition, lack of oral hygiene causes tartar build up and leads to gum-related diseases.

Certain oral habits may lead to gum recession as well. Bruxism or night-time teeth grinding may put a strain on the gums, causing them to pull back. Frequent tobacco users have sticky plaque in their teeth, which increases the risk of receding gums. Piercings in the lip or tongue may irritate the gums, causing infection and recession.

Prevention and Treatment

Oral health experts strongly recommend thorough brushing to prevent the gums’ wear and tear. As for treatment, some dentists perform gum contouring through laser technology. It is the process of levelling the gum line to protect the teeth’s roots from further damage.

Healthy gums for healthy teeth

Healthy gums go hand in hand with healthy teeth. Therefore, careful maintenance of gums is very important. Through proper oral care, people may avoid experiencing gum recession and its consequences.

A dentist’s intervention is necessary for those who already have gum problems, however. Aesthetic Smiles provides a range of dental procedures that will help improve the teeth and gums. Our treatments let people enjoy not only good oral health but confidence in having a better smile, as well.

Click here for more information on our services.