Should I get a gum lift?

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve looked into this procedure. A ‘gum lift’ may also be referred to as gum recontouring, crown lengthening or gingivectomy. Beauty bloggers and dental professionals may use different terms to describe this procedure but at the end of the day, our aim here is to see more teeth and less gum when you smile.

What is a Gum Lift?

A gum lift is a cosmetic procedure where the gum line on a tooth or teeth is trimmed back with a laser or a scalpel. Depending on how severe it is, you may be numbed up and healing times will vary. Laser is used for simple cases. If the underlying bone needs adjusting then you’re better off having it done under a scalpel and seeing someone with alot of experience in this procedure. At Riverstone Family Dental, I can assess your teeth, gums, bite and smile to let you know what your options are. The most crucial thing here is assessing what your Gingival Biotype is and ensuring you don’t have active gum disease. Gingival Biotype is a classification I use to assess how thin/thick your gums are. Everybody’s gums are different and can respond differently to treatment. I want to know how good my results will be and how well you will heal after this procedure.

Why get a Gum Lift?

Smile Design and Tooth Dimension

If your teeth look too short or too wide, a gum lift can allow your teeth to look longer or slimmer. Or perhaps your gumline is uneven? By simply trimming the gum on certain teeth you can make your smile look more symmetrical. This may then be followed up with veneers or crowns – you can get some amazing results cosmetically when this is planned right.

Showing too much gum

…especially when you smile. I hear this concern often and it can affect your confidence and self-esteem. My personal recommendation in this case is to look at why

  1. Is it to do with the shape/profile of your upper jaw?
  2. Is it to do with overactive muscles in the upper lip?
  3. Or is it the shape of your front teeth – perhaps they are too small for your mouth size?

The key to getting great results is in diagnosing the condition accurately, which is why I ask alot of questions and take my time in assessing and consulting.


If the reason behind your gummy smile is due to overactive muscles or a problem in the shape of your upper jaw then read on…


Useful for overactive upper lip muscles. I have found this is an easy treatment for gummy smile when my patients want to avoid dental treatment and are happy with the look and shape of their teeth. This takes 10 minutes of your time and involves two quick injections of Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA ) to help relax the upper lip.

  • TIP: allow up to 2 weeks to see results and note that you need to top it up in 3-4 months.


Orthodontic Treatment

If you have many teeth that need gum lifting, this can quickly become costly. If there are other issues with your teeth/jaw such as a problem with your bite, crooked teeth or if the cause of your gummy smile comes back to the shape/profile of your upper jaw, then you may want to invest in orthodontic treatment. This will allow you to fix other issues as well as the gummy smile.

  • NOTE: if your teeth look too small or their shape bothers you, then you may need further treatment afterwards.


This article highlights some key topics in modern and cosmetic dentistry. Remember that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

At Riverstone Family Dental we stay on top of advances in dentistry so we can offer our patients as many different options for treatment as possible. If you have any questions please contact my clinic on: (02) 8678 3538


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