Gummy smile is a smile that shows an excessive amount of gum tissues under the upper lip. The goal is to create a more toothy smile. There several treatment options for those with a gummy smile. Some surgical and some non surgical. The presence of a gummy smile should not be considered an abnormal condition or even unhealthy. It is just a normal variation of our anatomy. This does not stop those with a gummy smile from feeling self conscious in the way they smile. This may cause them to refrain from wide smiles.
What Is A Gummy Smile?
A gummy smile will make our teeth look short and stumpy. In reality, the gum tissue is just showing in proportion to your teeth than the rest of us. There are a variety of reasons for this. These can include:
-Possibility of Incomplete Eruption Of Teeth.
-Excess Gingival Tissues.
-Abnormally Thick Gingival Fibers.
-Upper Lip pulls up too high while smiling.
The gummy smile may present challenges beyond esthetics. Dental hygiene can be a real issues for the patients with excess tissue. This can lead to increased incidence of tooth decay as well periodontal disease development. The excessive gingival tissues will hinder attempts to keep areas clean and free of plaque and tartar. People with a gummy smile tend to present with puffy, red gum tissues. This is called gingivitis and is the earliest form of periodontal disease. It is reversible. Another note, is that most people notice a gummy smile only on front teeth but it can be present on back teeth as well.
Treatment For A Gummy Smile
An experienced, well trained cosmetic dentist will be well versed in treatment for a gummy smile. In fact, the gummy smile procedure can be one of the most rewarding for both dentist and patient alike. The change is immediate and patients report increased self confidence and ability to interact socially better than before.
Below you will find detailed list of gummy smile treatment options. The procedure used will depend on why the gummy smile exists.
Surgical Treatment Of Gummy Smile
–Gingivectomy (another term is gingivoplasty which includes gum contouring). This dental procedure is simply removal of excess gingival tissue from around the teeth. Removing excess gingival tissue is just the first step. Your cosmetic dentist will remove and reshape the tissues for an esthetic result. You would be surprised how little gingival tissue is actually removed in most cases. Your dentist a laser, an electrical cautery unit, or make periodontal incisions to remove and reshape the gum tissues. Local anesthetic is necessary during gummy smile procedure for comfort. This gummy smile treatment will not require any sutures and generally the gum tissues heal within 1-2 weeks following the procedure. A gingivectomy is usually the recommended gummy smile procedure when only a few teeth are affected by the gummy smile issue. In other cases, bone tissues may need to be remodeled as well.
-Crown Lengthening. This gummy smile procedure allows for your dentist to remove bone tissues as well as gum tissues. This procedure can be a bit more advanced in technique but still fairly easy for most periodontists.
Non-Surgical Treatment Of Gummy Smile
–Botox For Gummy Smile. The use of Botox is fairly new for treatment of gummy smile. The botox application relaxes the muscles (levator) in the upper lip causing the lip to not curl under or lift as high upon smiling. The botox relaxes the lip for a more balanced smile. This still allows you to smile, it just limits the height of the upper lip movement. The treatment lasts about 3 months so no worries about permanent changes.
Both surgical and non surgical procedures have very low risks and are easily completed. Obviously, the botox injections will be the least invasive but in some cases botox alone will not give the desired results. Using dermal fillers along with Botox may also help those with thinner lips.
Can A Gummy Smile Be Fixed? Conclusion
Upon healing, the results of a gummy smile treatment can be quite dramatic and striking. Both patient and Doctor alike will be in awe of the change. It is that dramatic generally. This treatment can be a real change for some in their outlook on life. Study after study has shown when we feel good about ourselves it changes how others perceive us opening doors socially and in business. Most patients return and have one complaint. Why didn’t we do this sooner? Don’t wait if this is an issue for you. See your dentist and talk over the best options for your smile.