Usually celebrity gossip rags are more interested in who someone is dating than what dental procedures they’re getting, but Marnie Simpson, a reality television star from the UK hit series Geordie Shore (British version of Jersey Shore), is changing that this week. The 25-year-old Brit is making headlines over admitting to having undergone a cosmetic procedure known as a “gum lift.”
As is typical for gossip sites, the headlines are built for shock value. MTV refers to it as a surgical procedure and tells readers it “sounds painful,” and Daily Mail emphasizes that her gums were “CUT” — in all caps, of course. But as they say, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet! The truth about gum lifts is much less dramatic than Daily Mail wants you to believe.
Gum Lifts 101: The Basics
A cosmetic gum lift is a procedure designed to reshape a “gummy” smile, in which excessive gum tissue conceals parts of the teeth, making them look short and stubby. Or it can be used to help if your gum line is uneven–which can make your teeth look crooked. By removing the overgrown soft tissue, the full length of the teeth can be revealed, improving the smile instantly.
Don’t let the headlines scare you off: The scary story of scalpels and stitches that these gossip sites are crafting is nothing like an actual gum lift. In fact, no blades are used in the procedure at all, and there are no stitches involved. You probably won’t even bleed! That’s because the recontouring is done with a soft tissue laser. These lasers have a natural sterilizing effect, so the chances of infection after the procedure are extremely slim. Plus, the laser seals nerve endings, so you’ll experience less postoperative pain than you would if you were going under the knife.
And don’t worry about the procedure itself: You’ll be in and out of the office in around an hour, and a local anesthetic will keep you from feeling the actual process. If you tend to get anxious over dental procedures, we can even offer oral sedation. With oral sedation, you’ll take a pill before your appointment that will leave you awake, but make you extremely relaxed. Later, you may not remember much of your appointment. This is a great option for those whose dental anxiety would otherwise prevent them from getting the dental care they need or want.
It’s not just the procedure that’s short and sweet — the healing process is, too. Depending on the patient you may need to eat soft foods for a day or two to avoid irritating your gums, but in general, recovery is accompanied only by minor discomfort, not pain.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Gum Lift?
If you have a gummy smile and want to uncover your naturally beautiful smile, a gum lift may be the perfect procedure for you. However, there are some people who simply have short teeth. For these people, a better alternative may be lengthening the teeth with porcelain veneers. Veneers only take two visits to be placed, so you can have a brand new smile in just two weeks. They’re strong and durable, and when properly cared for, they can last a lifetime.