Do You Need A Gum Lift?

Illustration by: Ji-Young Park

There are different types of periodontal diseases, ranging from simple inflammation of the gums to more severe deterioration of the soft tissue that supports the teeth. According to the American Dental Association, nearly 47.2 percent of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). This is a result of plaque on the teeth causing the gums to become inflamed. To reverse these damages, a gum lift (gingivectomy) may be performed to heal the effects of periodontal disease or to correct a gum condition involving the structures around the teeth.

What Is It?

Gingivectomy, also commonly referred to as the gum lift, is seen as a process where the gums are graved and raised to provide make the teeth look longer and the gum-line even. This procedure involves working with the underlying tissues and bones and aims at rendering symmetrical teeth to make the individual’s smile look aesthetically appealing and attractive. While this procedure has traditionally been used to treat gum disease, modern applications of the method have been developed to address cosmetic concerns associated with excessive gummy smiles or asymmetrical gum lines. Indeed, many patients express concern and embarrassment about a visible gum line when they smile, and a gum lift is a popular solution. This dental procedure not only sculpts the gum line but can create the appearance of longer and more symmetrical teeth. After all, an aesthetically pleasing smile goes a long way to enhance one’s self-esteem.

Read more: How To Take Care Of Your Gums

There are many situations where your dentist may recommend this dental procedure. In some cases, gums may not recede naturally after a permanent tooth has erupted; your lips may have a natural shape that allows a lot of gum to show, or gum recession may be so extreme that more of your tooth surface is exposed than you would like. Furthermore, those who have tainted or infected teeth where the damage has gone past the gum line proves to be the ideal candidates for a gum lift. However, those who possess a gummy smile and intend having a more aesthetically pleasing smile can also become suitable candidates for this procedure.

If you have any of the above conditions, then, we suggest that you talk to your dentist and ask him or her about performing a gum lift. Your dentist will examine the current state of your gums. If your gums are inflamed and red, then cosmetic dentistry will not be scheduled, and the dentist will recommend what is necessary to help your gums get back to a normal, healthy state. Once your gums are reported to be healthy, then the dentist can reexamine the state of the contours of the gum tissues.

Types of Gingivectomy

Gingivectomy by electrosurgery: Electrosurgery is defined as the intentional passage of high-frequency waveforms or currents, through the tissues of the body to achieve a controllable surgical effect. It has been used in dentistry for more than 60 years. Electrosurgery may be used where a blood-free environment is required, providing that there is no bone coming into contact with the instrument and good oral hygiene is maintained

Scalpel Surgery: For this procedure, the gums are lifted so that tartar can be removed. Scalpel surgery reshapes the gum line to create a more balanced and symmetrical smile. Scalpel surgery contouring is performed using a dental scalpel; the scalpel manually cuts away extra gum tissue to expose more tooth structure.

Laser Gingivectomy: Laser gingivectomy is an advanced dental technology that involves repeated lasing and wiping away tissue remnants with moist gauze, and this results in a bloodless operating field allowing better visibility and greater ease for the operator. Apart from ablating and coagulating, the laser also sterilizes the tissues and eliminates the need for a post-surgical dressing.


Generally, dental insurance policies cover some portion of the cost of preventive care, fillings, crowns, root canals, and oral surgery, such as tooth extractions. So when gum lift is performed as a cosmetic treatment, it is not covered by insurance. However, if you need a gum lift to remove tissue compromised by gum disease, then your insurance provider may cover a portion of the treatment cost. It is, however, essential to keep in mind that not all insurance providers include the cost of laser treatments. You should discuss your coverage plan with your dentist and provider before deciding to move forward with your gum lifting surgery.

Conclusively, gum lift surgery depends upon a lot of factors such as the severity of the disease, how good you maintain oral hygiene, and whether you smoke or not. However, if you are considering a gum lift, then it is recommended that you speak to your dentist about practitioners who offer the service. After an initial consultation, this procedure can be completed quickly and easily leaving you with your ideal smile or dental disease.