Fixing Gummy Smile

What Is A Gummy Smile?

A smiley face is always nice to look at, but unfortunately, some people have to cover their pearly whites because they feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with their smile.

Factors like shape, size, height and overall appearance of your teeth and gums can affect how attractive your smile looks.

Crooked or crowded teeth, big gaps between teeth, and small or very large teeth can compromise the beauty of a smile. However, it’s not always your teeth that are depriving you of having your favourite smile!

Sometimes, it’s your gum tissue!

Gummy Smile

A condition known as a “gummy smile” can cause your smile to show more gum tissue above upper teeth than you prefer, resulting in a less desirable smile.

A gummy smile, aka excessive gingival display, makes excessive gum tissue visible above the top teeth when the person smiles.

An Attractive Smile

Most people consider a smile more attractive if there is 2 millimetres or less of gum tissue visible and less attractive if there is too much gum tissue visible, usually more than 3 or 4 millimetres of gum tissue.

Did You Know?

Gummy smiles affect women more than men! 

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Genetic factors can sometimes cause a person’s smile to display excess gum tissue.

Generally speaking, a gummy smile can be the result of issues with your teeth, lips, jaws, or gums.

 Your Brisbane Cosmetic Dentist is the one who can diagnose the underlying cause of your gummy smile and come up with the best treatment option.

Upper Jaw Development Problem

An overgrowth of your upper jaw during childhood could cause the upper lip to be thin and expose extra gum tissue.

The condition is also known as vertical maxillary excess and causes your gums to bulge out (excessive gums exposure) and have a gummy smile.

Jaw misalignment can cause other jaw problems like “improper bite” and “crooked teeth.”

Hyperactive Upper Lip Muscle

Overactive muscles around your upper lip may cause a gummy smile. A hypermobile lip is a hyperactive upper lip with strong muscles that pulls your lips up, causing more gum tissue to be visible.

While normal lips rise about 6 to 8 millimetres when you smile, hyperactive lips move much higher and show excess gum tissue.

Short Upper Lip

Shorter upper lips are another reason for a gummy smile because they display excessive gums when you smile

Abnormal Eruption of Permanent Teeth

Improper eruption of teeth can sometimes lead to a gummy smile.

If your adult teeth are covered by excessive gum tissue due to incorrect or partial eruption (altered passive eruption), they will look shorter, even if they have proper length. Therefore, short teeth covered by too much gum tissue can be the underlying cause of a gummy smile.

Gingival Hyperplasia

Gingival hyperplasia refers to a condition where your gums grow too much around your teeth due to poor oral hygiene, particular medications, or mouth breathing. Overgrowth of gums over the teeth can lead to a gummy smile.

Gummy Smile Treatments

If you believe your smile displays too much of your gum line and has affected your confidence, you do not need to worry anymore. There are several treatment options for patients who desire a new smile.

You can have a confident smile, restore your lost confidence, and even improve your oral health by fixing gummy smiles.

Patients suffering from a gummy smile due to gingival hyperplasia may stop practising good oral hygiene because their gums are sore or tender. Poor dental hygiene can increase the number of harmful in your mouth and lead to several oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, sometimes gummy smile treatment is not just a matter of smile aesthetics but proper dental health.

Different Treatments Based on the Real Cause

Understanding the underlying cause of excessive gingival display will be the first step in finding the best permanent solution. The best gummy smile treatment is determined based on the main reason.

Gummy smile treatment options vary, including surgical or non-surgical methods and cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Orthodontic Treatment

Patients whose gummy smile results from having a poor bite, small teeth, or jaw abnormalities may benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatments like traditional braces or Invisalign may be able to fix mild cases of “excessive gingival display” by moving the teeth into their correct position.

Your orthodontist may also decide to use temporary anchorage devices to encourage the teeth further to move back to their proper position and solve the problem of a gummy smile.

Dental Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is another dental treatment your dentist may suggest to improve your smile aesthetics. During the procedure, the dentist removes the gum tissue and modifies the bone; the gum line will then be re-contoured. The procedure results in more of your teeth crown visible when you smile.

Crowns or Veneers

Dental crowns or veneers may be added to the gummy smile treatment option if the patient’s excessive gingival display results from having short teeth.

Dental crowns and veneers will mimic your natural teeth’ function and appearance, help your teeth look longer, and minimise the appearance of gummy smiles.

Laser Gum Contouring (Gum Lift)

A gum lift may be a viable treatment if excess gum tissue has covered your teeth and affected your smile.

Laser gum contouring or gingivectomy is a dental procedure performed by an oral surgeon. The process involves reshaping and removing the excess gum tissue to reveal more of a tooth and improve your smile.

During the procedure, the oral surgeon or periodontist will use a laser to trim the gums and expose more of your pearly whites.

Jaw Surgery

In rare cases, the real reason behind the excessive gingival display is that the upper jaw is abnormally larger than the rest of your face. In this case, the patient may need a surgical procedure (Jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery) that involves repositioning the jaw bone to balance the length of the upper and lower jaws and fix the issue. see dental surgery performed under general anesthesia.

Muscle Relaxant Injections

Muscle relaxant injections (anti-wrinkle injections) prevent your hyperactive upper lip from moving too high when you smile. Muscle relaxant injections will temporarily fix your gummy smile by paralysing the muscles around your upper lip.

Botox is a temporary solution to fix a gummy smile and will need to be repeated typically every six months.

Lip Repositioning Surgery

Sometimes your teeth and gums are in perfect proportion, and your lip causes the excessive gingival display! Lip repositioning surgery involves the dentist repositioning the lip and moving it down to cover a larger part of the gums.

Pure Dentistry and its friendly team are ready to offer various dental procedures, including cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, orthodontic treatments, and paediatric dentists in Brisbane.

To have a brilliant healthy smile, call us on Pure Dentistry on 07 3343 4869 or find more information about dental treatments here.