Lake Forest Dentist Answers Common Gum Lift Questions

Gummy smile

20% of the population has a smile with excess gum display. This is usually called a “gummy smile”.

When you smile, are your gums more prominent than you would like? If so, you’re not alone. An estimated 7 percent of men and 14 percent of women have what is commonly called a “gummy smile,” or “excessive gingival display.” Today, our Lake Forest cosmetic dentist Dr. James Fondriest answers some common questions about a cosmetic procedure called a “gum lift.”

Gum Lift FAQs

What is a gum lift?

A gum lift is a cosmetic procedure in which the gums are cut and reshaped to create a more visually-appealing gum line. By removing excess gum tissue, the proper proportion of tooth to gum can be achieved, revealing a beautiful smile.

What are some common causes of a “gummy smile?”

There are seven common causes of a “gummy smile.” Four of them can be treated with a gum lift. They are:

  • Altered passive eruption–The teeth and bone are in the correct position, but they are covered with excessive amounts of gum tissue.
  • Altered active eruption–The teeth are in the correct position, but they are covered with excessive amounts of bone and gum tissue.
  • Super-eruption of upper teeth, caused by grinding–Some people grind their teeth so much that their bottom teeth are significantly shortened in length. Since the upper teeth will continue to move down (super-eruption) until they come into contact with something, they may migrate until reaching the shortened lower teeth. Super-eruption of the upper teeth due to tooth wear will bring the gum tissue along with the descending teeth, causing a gummy smile.
  • Short upper lip–Some people have an upper lip that is disproportionately short. This causes more of the teeth and gums to show.

If I decide to have a gum lift, how does the procedure work?

Dr. Fondriest will create a design that is right for you and will supervise the procedure, which will be performed by one of the periodontists with whom he closely works.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Fondriest offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry services, including no-prep veneers, dental implants, and gum lifts. To reserve an appointment at our Lake Forest dentist office, contact us at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area, including the North Shore suburbs of Winnetka, Highland Park, Northbrook, Northfield, Glenview, Lincolnshire, Deerfield, Lake Bluff, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Gurnee, Grayslake, and Barrington.

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