Gummy Smile: Causes And Treatment
Also referred to as excessive gingival display, gummy smile is a condition that reveals excess gum tissue on your top set of teeth each time you smile. Many patients who seek gummy smile correction and gummy smile treatment frequent dental clinics seeking help. The reason is usually because it makes them overly conscious of themselves and less confident about smiling in public.
Here, we take a look at what causes gummy smile and if there is hope for treatment. Mostly, treatment possibilities will depend on the cause of the excessive display. Effective treatment can only be given if your dentist can figure out the source.
What is excessive gingival display?
In reality, there is no specific way to define a gummy smile. Most of the time, it is based on how individuals perceive themselves. It can be easy to recognize and studies conducted to ascertain how people interpret excessive gingival display show varied answers. Findings from most of the cases show that subjects consider a smile to be attractive if gum tissue exposure falls between 2 mm and below.
Others also felt that smiles revealing gum tissue at about 3 mm an above were “gummy”. It would interest you to know that women are more likely to experience this condition than men. Predictions from professionals suggest that only 7% of men will experience the condition when compared to 14% of women.
What causes a gummy smile?
Are you struggling with exposing too much gum whenever you try to laugh or smile? There are different causes that you must know about before embarking on a gummy smile fix. It’s up to your dentist to determine what the real cause of the excess gum smile is. You will have to undergo an ideal examination which should be simple but can involve bite assessments and digital X-rays sometimes.
Here are some causes of a gummy smile below:
- Too much gum tissue
This is a very common cause of this condition. It happens when tissue overgrows and conceals a greater part of your teeth. You end up having teeth that look short since much of your enamel is covered by gums. The reason for having excess gum tissue could be linked to genetics. You could also be suffering from gum tissue inflammation or the effects of some medication.
When you try to get a gummy smile fix, the dentist will take steps to find the root cause. If gum disease is the issue, scaling and root planing treatment could be the answer. But should gum overgrowth not be caused by any condition, a certified dentist can fix the situation via laser gum sculpting.
- Dental development
The way in which your jaw bone and teeth develop could also trigger a gummy smile situation. You could develop buck teeth, as well as excess gum, if you have an upper jaw that kind of juts out. Orthodontic treatment can be used to fix dental misalignment. You may have to use removable aligners or teeth braces to get a gummy smile correction.
- Hyperactive lip muscle
In some cases, a person might have an upper lip that’s hyperactive. This means that the muscles responsible for controlling the skin located under your nose cause your lips to get too high when you smile or laugh, leading to excessive gum exposure. Hyperactive lip muscle is linked to genetics and should not be considered a medical issue. But many people still take steps to get treatment in this case and a gummy smile Botox can help.
Gummy smile treatment options
We advise that you contact your dentist to confirm that you have the condition before you seek any treatment options. You’ll undergo an examination to help your dentist determine the level of excessive gingival display. They will also try to discover the possible causes before commencing treatment. Here are some of the treatment options for a gummy smile correction –
- SRP therapy
Should an inflammation or gum disease infection be responsible for the excessive gum tissue, scaling and root planing therapy may be the solution. As soon as your dentist treats the underlying cause, they will then determine if laser gum sculpting is necessary.
- Gummy smile Botox
This is another treatment option for a hyperactive upper lip and involves the use of Botox for gummy smile procedure. Just like how Botox injections can relax the muscles on your face to get rid of forehead lines, it can also help to reduce how much your upper lip lifts whenever you laugh or smile. This works to cover your gums. You will need an expert plastic surgeon to carry out the process and your dentist can recommend one to you.
- Laser gum sculpting
The over-development of gum tissue can be eliminated with laser gum sculpting. This procedure will help to reveal more of your enamel. Laser gum sculpting is a form of gummy smile surgery that helps to lengthen the crown of the tooth. This is also called crown lengthening. By making use of advanced tech and improved strategies, gum strips are removed to give you a higher gum line.
During this procedure, the gum tissue is cauterized to avoid excess bleeding and hasten recovery in contrast with traditional gum surgery. Using the laser, your dentist will work on your gums to improve the tissue and give you the best gums-to-teeth ratio. Some form of sedation might also be used to ensure your comfort while contouring your gum line.
- Removable aligners or braces
A bad bite can lead to a showing too much gum tissue as well. Orthodontic treatment may help provide gummy smile correction. Your dentist will recommend the right ortho aligners or braces for your condition. This will help to give you gummy smile reduction and keep your mouth healthier after aligning your teeth.
There’s nothing that gives great confidence and the higher self-esteem like being able to smile as much as you want in public. Get in touch with your dentist and schedule a consultation to discuss some gummy smile reduction procedures. Your dentist will examine and analyze your situation, and recommend the best option to restore your perfect smile.
Kelly Hancock, RDH
Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.