A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, reveals more of the gumline than one would like.
If you feel that you show too much of your gum line when you smile, you might suffer from what is known as a gummy smile or excessive gingival display. Many people experience this issue, although what characterises a gummy smile is mostly determined by your personal aesthetics. Read on to find out more about what is typically considered a gummy smile, and how it can be treated.
What is a gummy smile, exactly?
A gummy smile really comes down to one’s personal aesthetics, so there is no exact definition for the condition. The factors that affect how you feel about your gumline are likely to include the shape and size of your teeth; the way that your lips move and rest when you smile; and the angle of your jaw in relation to the rest of your facial features. If you feel that a disproportionate amount of gum is exposed when you smile, it is possible that you have a gummy smile.
What causes a gummy smile?
There are a few factors that can contribute to a gummy smile. Sometimes one can appear to have too much exposed gum when the upper lip is particularly short or when the lips move quite considerably when smiling, exposing a lot of the gum line.
A gummy smile can also be caused by conditions that affect the growth of the teeth. These conditions include passive eruption, which causes the gums to cover much of the teeth’s surface; dentoalveolar extrusion, which causes the teeth to over erupt; and vertical maxillary excess, which cause the bones of the upper jaw to grow longer than normal.
Certain medications can also cause the gums to grow excessively around the teeth. This condition is known as gingival hyperplasia.
What are the treatment options?
Fortunately, it is possible to resolve a gummy smile through a process known as gum contouring. During the procedure, excess gum tissue is carefully removed. Gum contouring can be performed with the use of a scalpel or laser, with which your dentist will trim and reshape the gums in order to show more of the teeth. After the procedure, patients typically enjoy a more balanced-looking smile as the ratio of teeth and gums is more aesthetically pleasing. In some cases, more than one treatment session is required. Your dentist will advise you on the most suitable treatment plan for your particular needs and cosmetic goals.
How can we help?
At Extreme Dentistry, we offer gummy smile treatment for patients who are not satisfied with the appearance of their smile. If you feel that the ratio of your lips, gums and teeth is not balanced, you might consider the treatment. We offer gum contouring for patients who would like to reduce the amount of gum that is shown when smiling. We also offer gum lifts for those who feel that too much tooth is revealed when smiling. To find out more about our gummy smile treatments, please have a look here.