There are many reasons why you might not be happy with your smile. Most of them have to do with how your teeth look. A common worry happens outside of the teeth. If you think your gums show too much when you smile, you may have a condition called a "gummy smile." This can happen for many different reasons, and there are many ways to treat it, both temporarily and permanently.
What's A Gummy Smile?
Excessive Gingival Display, or "gummy smile," is when more gum tissue than usual shows above the upper teeth when a person smiles. A gummy smile can be seen, but it has also been said that it happens when more than 4 millimeters of gum tissue are showing when you smile.
You should see your dentist if you think you have a gummy smile. They can take x-rays and do a few other tests to determine what's causing it and what treatment will work best.
What Are The Causes Of Gummy Smiles?
A gummy smile might be the result of any of the following:
- Tooth Trouble
- Gum Issues
- Lip Issues
- Jaw Trouble
Teeth can be too small because of genetics or how they are used. If your teeth wear down over time, the top teeth will try to keep your bite right by coming out further down. The top teeth may have also come out further down for some people.
Another problem can happen when the upper teeth grow in front of the lower teeth more than they should. Instead of touching, they move past each other and explode too far.
As the teeth move down, the gums move down with them because they are attached to the teeth. This makes the teeth look shorter, and the gums look longer.
The gums can grow too far over the teeth if you breathe through your mouth, take certain medicines, or don't take care of your teeth well enough. This means that many teeth are still hidden under the gum.
When the muscles around the lips are too strong, they pull the lips up, showing more gum tissue than usual when the person smiles. This is called a hypermobile or hyperactive lip. Normal lips move 6–8 mm from resting to a full smile. Lips that move more than this are called hyperactive.
Another problem with the lip is when it is too short and shows too much gum, even if the jaw and teeth are the right sizes.
Most of the time, a gummy smile is caused by an upper jaw that is longer than it should be for the size of the face and the amount of lip tissue available to cover the gums. This means too much gum tissue on both sides of the teeth.
Our dental clinic will first help you determine if your gummy smile is caused by your genes or something else. We'll look at your teeth, lips, jaw, and gums to figure out why you have a "gummy smile" and how to fix it. Then, you'll finally be able to get the teeth, gums, and lips in the right proportions to give you the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve. Let's look at a few things we can do to help you fix your gummy smile.
Gummy Smile Treatment Options
If you have a mildly gummy smile because of jaw problems, Invisalign or Damon Braces may be the first step because they help fix jaw problems that can make your gums look bigger when you smile. After treatment, many people were able to fix their bite problems, which made their gums look smaller and more in proportion to their teeth and jaws.
Shaping Of The Gums
Contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that removes extra gum tissue to change how the gums support and surround the tooth. It is also called a Gingivectomy and a gum lift. Your orthodontist can contour the soft tissue of your mouth and reduce genetic and non-genetic causes of a gummy smile.
Crowns Or Veneers
You can make your teeth look longer by using dental crowns or veneers. People often get them because they were born with small teeth or because age or an accident has worn down their teeth. Many people feel self-conscious about their gum line. Veneers or crowns give you back control of your smile by restoring the fullness of your teeth through a cosmetic application.
Repositioning The Lips
It would help if you did this when the upper lip is too short or too flexible and shows too much gum when you smile. This simple and safe procedure stops your upper lip muscles from pulling on your gums. This makes your upper lip cover more of your gums, making your gummy smile less noticeable.
Botox is a quick and cheap way to fix a gummy smile caused by a strong muscle that pulls your upper lip up above your gum line. Botox works by making the muscles in your upper lip temporarily weak, so your lip won't go up as high even though Botox is less expensive than other ways to fix a gummy smile, the results only last three to four months.
Options for Surgery
Surgery on the face and neck. No one likes surgery, but maxillofacial surgery to fix gummy smiles can have the most dramatic effects for the better. In many cases caused by genetics, a patient's upper jaw, called a maxilla, needs to be moved up by a surgery called bimaxillary orthognathic so that their teeth and gums look normal. Most of the time, this procedure is done along with an orthodontic device. The result is that you get rid of extra gums, and your smile looks completely different. People who didn't know there was anything they could do about their gummy smiles may find that this treatment changes their lives.
How Long Does It Take To Heal A Gummy Smile?
The average time for a gummy smile to heal is about two weeks. In the first week, it's normal to feel some brushing and pain. After the procedure, patients should try their best not to smile for 4 weeks.
Advantages Of Gummy Smile
Here are a few advantages of a gummy smile:
- Make a smile that is even and balanced.
- Shows more of the teeth's surface.
- Changes the ratio of teeth to gums.
- Eliminates an uneven gum line.
- Shows a more attractive, wider smile.
- Boosts your confidence.
- Helps keep your teeth healthy.
Disadvantages Of Gummy Smile
Plaque can get under the gumline and cause the gums to get red and swollen. If gingivitis isn't taken care of, it can turn into periodontitis and, if left untreated, advanced periodontitis.
A gummy smile doesn't always have to be a sign of a health problem for it to be worth fixing. Crowns, veneers, and gingivectomies are minimally invasive procedures that can make your teeth look better proportioned. Many people feel self-conscious about their gummy smiles, but there are a number of ways to treat your gummy smile and make it a thing of the past. Many of these options are also permanent, so you won't have to keep getting treatment to keep your smile looking the way you want it to.
If you want to fix your gummy smile or the problems that are causing it, talk to our cosmetic dentist. They'll be able to talk to you about your treatment options and figure out if your problem is just a matter of looks or if there's something else going on, like a hyperactive upper lip or an improper bite, that can be fixed to help you feel better and get rid of your gummy smile. If you're interested in a certain treatment option, make sure to ask if it will work for you or if there's a reason why it might not be the best choice.