For patients who are self-conscious about their gums and looking to restore their smile and confidence, a gum lift might be the right answer. A gum lift contours the appearance of the gum line to improve teeth-to-gum ratio and form a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Our dentists use a special laser to address excessive gum tissue and create symmetry.

A gum lift is a quick in-office procedure that provides instant results! Our dentists can transform your smile in just one short visit. If you have a gummy smile, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our expert dentists.

What is a Gum Lift?

A gum lift, otherwise known as gum contouring or gingival sculpting, is a procedure designed to remove gum tissue from the top of the teeth to create a radiant smile you are happy to bear. The gums may cover tooth structure which can make teeth appear short or wide. And when the proportion of gum-to-tooth ratio is close, some people feel as though their smile appears “gummy.” Our dentists at Old Town Smiles can correct a gummy smile with a gum lift procedure.

Other common gum problems that can be corrected with a gum lift or gum contouring include uneven gums and loss of tissue between your teeth. If considering a gum lift, our doctors will evaluate the gum line to assess which areas need contouring and how to achieve symmetry of the teeth. The procedure is quick and gives you instant results! Your smile will be transformed in one short visit. Our dentist, Dr. Ahmed, corrects and treats many dental concerns patients have, including a gummy smile.

Who is a Good Candidate?

The gum lift procedure improves gum-to-tooth ratio, in turn producing a radiant Hollywood smile

Patients who have excessive gum tissue or gum line related concerns are possible good candidates for gum sculpting, so long as they are healthy, non-smokers, and have good overall oral hygiene. During the consultation, Dr. Ahmed will conduct a thorough dental exam and go over medical history to determine if the patient is a good candidate for a gum lift procedure. The gum line will be assessed in detail, determining which areas need how much contouring and how to best achieve symmetry of the gum line and teeth.

There aren’t many reasons a patient wouldn’t be considered for a gum lift procedure, but the following are some contraindications:

  • Patients with gum disease
  • Patients allergic to anesthesia
  • Young patients still developing adult set of teeth


Patients who want to reduce or reshape their gum line should consider the many benefits associated with a gum lift procedure. Excessive gum tissue can create a smile that looks “gummy” which can make patients feel self-conscious. Patients who have missing gum tissue between teeth or uneven gum lines can also benefit from a gum lift. Using a gentle yet effective dental laser, our dentists can remove excess gum tissue to create a symmetrical and proportionate smile in one short hour. The laser allows for a smooth treatment relatively short recovery time. There are no sutures, bone grafts, or stitches needed for this treatment.

Why a Gum Lift is Better than Botox for a Gummy Smile

Botox has also been used to treat a gummy smile. The neurotoxin temporarily suspends movement of the targeted muscle. So when Botox is injected into the muscles behind the upper lip, they relax and, in turn, the upper lip slightly lowers. This is used to treat gummy smiles because the upper lip will cover more of the gum.

However, with all of that said, there are cons to Botox use for gummy smiles. For one, the treatment is temporary. This means that repeat treatments are required for lasting results, unlike a gum lift which provides long-lasting results. Second, the injection may cause the upper lip to lower too much, making the lip look elongated or cover too much of the upper teeth. Third, Botox can inhibit smiling. The goal of a gum procedure is to allow patients to show off their smile, not stop them from smiling. Lastly, Botox does not have any effect on the actual length of the gum like a gum lift procedure does.

Gummy smiles are best treated with a gum lift procedure by a skilled dentist such as Dr. Ahmed.


The consultation takes place in a comfortable setting where patients can ask questions and gain insight into their specific dental needs and treatment options with no obligation.

During the appointment, the patient will meet with one of our dentists to address their dental concerns.

Our dentists begin their consultations by asking what the patient’s smile goals are. Next, a thorough examination of the patient’s gum line will be performed to determine if a gum lift procedure is appropriate. Please be ready to answer questions about medical and dental history. Through this process, a custom treatment will be created to address the patient’s exact concerns. Once the dentist and the patient have agreed upon a course of action, they can schedule the gum lift procedure. It is important to note that many gum lifts can be performed on the same day in our office if the dentist sees fit and time permits. Our knowledgeable dental staff is available to answer any questions and, of course, to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.

Gum Lift Procedure

Beginning the procedure, one of our dentists will apply a local anesthesia to the patient’s gum line before treatment. Once the area is numbed, the dentist uses special laser technology to carefully contour the patient’s gum line to their desired height and shape. The exact areas are determined during the consultation. The use of laser technology allows our dentist to be meticulous and precise in their treatment and also reduces the chance of gum bleeding. Gum lift procedures generally take about an hour. Patients are free to return home once it is completed.


Patients can see immediate results after a gum lift. They can enjoy an enhanced smiled with a symmetrical gum line and filled in gaps where tissue recession occurred. Results can continue to improve up to a week after surgery. As initial swelling subsides, detailed gum contouring becomes more apparent each day. Our dentists and staff will advise the patient of all necessary aftercare instructions and recovery expectations.


The recovery time after a gum lift is minimal for most patients. After the gum lift procedure, patients can expect some mild discomfort and swelling but these effects will quickly go away. The use of laser technology minimizes bleeding, but there is still a small possibility of initial bleeding at the gum line. Patients can take over the counter pain medication to counter any discomfort. Side effects, if apparent, diminish over the next few days.

The dentist will instruct patients to follow a specific diet for the few days following the initial procedure. Patients usually stick to a liquid-based diet and soft foods. There will be initial sensitivity to hot and crunchy foods, and they should be limited or avoided for the first few days.

Patients who follow the specific aftercare instructions provided, such as avoiding certain foods to reduce the chance of infection, as well as those who maintain good oral hygiene, will see long-lasting results. Patients with poor dental care habits run the risk of gum disease or infection.

Men and women interested in learning more about gum lifts or gum sculpting can contact our Alexandria, VA office, to schedule an informative consultation with our dentist, Dr. Ahmed. Our office staff is available to answer any questions patients may have about this procedure.

Additional Dental Procedures


Crowns are essentially ‘caps’ for teeth that are damaged, chipped, cracked, or weak.

Paired with a gum lift, patients may want to dramatically improve their smile by having crowns placed.

This procedure is done by shaving the affected tooth and putting the custom crown over it. Crowns are made out of a variety of different materials such as metal, porcelain, and ceramic. Crowns paired with a gum lift provide full coverage of damaged teeth and provide a radiant smile.


Veneers, like crowns, are used to enhance the appearance of teeth but do not cover the entirety of the tooth, just the front. In order for the veneers to be placed, the front of the tooth will be shaved down slightly, but not to the extent required for a crown. Because of this, it is commonly used to improve the look of teeth that are discolored, worn down, or chipped. The cost of veneers will vary depending on the material being used, but it typically comes at a lower cost than crowns because a veneer covers only the tooth’s front surface. By using veneers in combination with a gum lift, patients can be proud to show off their pearly whites.


There is no one set cost for a gum lift procedure; it is dependent on the extent of the individual case. In order to receive a custom quote, contact our office to schedule a gum lift consultation.