Do you feel that your gums are the first thing people notice when you smile? Does your smile reveal more of gums than teeth? You may be having a Gummy smile, the term used to describe the smile of a person when the gums are displayed more than usual.
When the distance between the gum line and the upper lip is more than 3 to 4 mm, it is perceived as an excessive display of gums. Over-display of gums can have a detrimental impact on smile aesthetics and can be a cause for low self-esteem.
What are the reasons for a gummy smile?
- Improper eruption causing the gums to cover more of the teeth surface
- Smaller teeth due to genetic predisposition or physiological wear
- Short upper lip
- Hyperactive upper lip
- Gums enlargement
- Protruding upper jaw
So now you know that your teeth, lips and gums are like pieces of smile puzzle that should fall in correct proportion to each other for optimum esthetics.
Can a gummy smile be fixed?
Yes, a gummy smile can be fixed!
The treatment approach depends on the underlying cause. Here are some of the simple ways of fixing a gummy smile.
CROWN LENGTHENING WITH ENAMEL RECONTOURING
In cases, where the eruption process is the cause, crown lengthening is the best procedure for correction. During this process, the extra gum tissue covering the tooth is removed thereby exposing more of the tooth surface. This makes the crown (visible surface of tooth) look elongated and reduces the extent of gum display as well. Through enamel recontouring, the tooth length is brought into the right proportion so that the crown dimensions are in proportion with the face.
CROWN LENGTHENING WITH VENEERS/LAMINATES OR DENTAL CROWNS
Small-sized teeth can be fixed by options like dental crowns and dental veneers/laminates.
The surgical removal of enlarged gums and reshaping is called gum contouring and it leads to a remarkable enhancement in the appearance of the smile. Lasers, when used for gum contouring, eliminate the need to go under the knife thereby making the procedure bloodless and also cause faster healing than conventional gum contouring procedure.
Botox (Type A botulinum toxin) is a neuromodulator and is being used extensively in cosmetic procedures like wrinkle corrections. Botox is used effectively to treat gummy smile caused by a short or a hyperactive upper lip. Even though botox turns out to be more affordable than surgery, one drawback is that the results are of short term and last for around three to eight months only. The botox injections weaken the hyperactive lip muscle thereby minimizing the excess lifting of upper lip while smiling.
In some situations, the above mentioned procedures may not suffice and surgical correction of gummy smile may be needed. Lip repositioning/lengthening and orthognathic surgery are the two most common techniques of correcting a gummy smile.
So, when there are so many treatment options to get rid of a gummy smile why to live with it anymore! Consult your periodontist to know which option suits you the most.