A “gummy smile” – where teeth appear short or buried by gum tissue – is often seen as a drawback to one’s overall appearance. Fear not! Gummy smiles can be significantly improved, and there is a choice of treatment options…
Causes of a Gummy Smile
There are several possible causes of gummy smile, including:
- Abnormal eruption of the teeth can occur due to an excessive amount of gum tissue. So even though teeth a the right length, they appear short behind all that gum.
- Hyperactive muscles in your upper lip could be making it rise higher than normal. More of your gumsar exposed every time you speak or smile, making your teeth smile seem “gummy”.
- If your upper jaw bone grew in an abnormal manner – for example, a bulging protrusion – you may seem to have a gummy smile.
A gummy smile should not be ignored because it could be a sign of more serious underlying conditions. For example, it could indicate an uncomfortable or improper bite that might affect long-term oral health.
Gummy Smile Treatments
If you think you may have a gummy smile, visit your dentist for a consultation. They may take digital impressions and/ or X-ray images to help determine the cause of the condition.
If the condition is severe enough, you may be referred to a specialist. Treatment for your gummy smile could include:
- Same-day laser treatments (in minor cases)
- Surgical lip repositioning
- Orthodontics (braces) to move the teeth into more suitable positions
- Surgical Sculpting of the gingival tissues and bone to create healthier and more attractive looking gum contours
- Maxillofacial surgery to reposition the bone
A great example of surgery would be a “crown lengthening” procedure in which the periodontist will remove the excess gum tissue and/or bone to help expose more of the tooth. The American Academy of Periodontology states that this procedure can relieve discomfort when smiling, eating and speaking, as well as improve the health of gums.
See your dental professional for a full evaluation.