A “gummy smile” is when a person has an excessive amount of gum tissue visible over their teeth. A gumline that is lower than normal can make teeth appear small and detract from someone’s overall appearance, which makes many people self-conscious about smiling. Though a smile is usually considered gummy when the gums come down more than an eighth of an inch, it is often personal preference and perception that leads patients to receive treatments to reduce gums.
There are several types of treatment options available to those looking to enhance a smile. The treatment each patient goes with depends on oral health, the location of the gumline, and any complications that could arise during the procedure. Here are three popular treatments to consider.
Gum contouring and crown lengthening
Gum contouring and crown lengthening simply refers to the removal of excess gums to make the visible part of a tooth, called the crown, appear longer. Some of the bone, such as the root of the tooth, may also be shaved down to the proper size as well. Using this procedure, the gumline can be reshaped to create a desired uniform effect. Teeth will appear larger and equally sized, pulling the attention away from the gums.
Lip repositioning is a surgical treatment that prevents certain muscles in the face from completing a full range of motion. These muscles directly control the lips, and restricting movement keeps a smile from pulling too wide or high. The result is a smile that does not reveal as much gum. This may also come in the form of botulin injections into the lips.
Braces are a nonsurgical solution to fix crooked teeth and exposed gums. By moving teeth into a better position so that they are even and straight, the gums may become less visible. This is a great option to avoid surgery if it works for the individual.
Candidates for treatments
Anyone who is unsatisfied with their smile because of excessive gums can be a candidate for gummy smile treatment. Not all treatments are feasible for everyone, and a dentist can discuss the right procedures with each patient before moving forward.
Sometimes a smile overwhelmed by gums indicates other problems in the mouth. Gum disease, or gingivitis, is a serious complication that can result from failing to maintain daily hygienic practices. Brushing and flossing infrequently can allow plaque and tartar to build up in pockets between the teeth and gums. This hard, sticky material contains bacteria that releases toxins into the teeth and gums. It can cause an assortment of problems, including decay like cavities and gum inflammation. In other cases, certain medications can cause gums to grow further than normal, covering a natural smile.
There is no need to live with a gummy smile with so many possible treatment options. Talk to a dentist to learn about the procedures to restore a desired, healthy smile.
Request an appointment here or call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292 for an appointment in our Dallas office.