A “gummy smile,” as the name implies, is the excessive exposure of your gum line when you smile. Often, this gummy smile can be regarded as a flaw that discourages people from smiling or interacting in social settings. Gummy smiles are considered factors of insecurity and embarrassment, which can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence.
While gummy smiles are caused by a plethora of causes, which will be discussed later in this blog post, they can easily be treated using a variety of dental therapies. At Micris Dental Clinic, we have a skilled team of dental specialists and oral surgeons who are trained to make you feel beautiful with your smile.
Before we delve into and explore the treatments available to correct your gummy smiles, let us first develop a more cohesive understanding of gummy smiles.
What are Gummy Smiles?
As discussed earlier, a smile can be regarded as “gummy” if there is an excess amount of gingival display when you smile. To improve your understanding and enable you to differentiate between a normal smile and a gummy smile, our dentists note that:
Normal smile = Less than 2 millimetres of gum line is exposed.
Gummy Smile = More than 2 millimetres of gum line is exposed.
Moreover, according to a recent study, gummy smiles have been more commonly found in women (14% in women and 7% in men). This indicated that women were more prone to this flaw than men.
You may be wondering if it is vital to treat gummy smiles because they simply affect the cosmetic function of your smile.
This is an erroneous assumption. Gummy smiles, according to our dental professionals, influence more than just your smile. If not treated properly, the excessive gingival display can promote poor oral health, require you to get an influx of expensive and complicated dental treatments in the future, put you at risk of inflammation and periodontal diseases, and give you bad breath.
Thus, you need to correct your smiles to avoid major damage to your oral health.
Before we dig into the various treatment options to treat your high smile line, let us take a look at the factors that cause it.
What causes a Gummy Smile?
Gummy smiles can be induced by a range of events that influence our everyday lives. However, some of the most common factors are listed below:
- Due to improper eruption of the upper teeth, they may appear shorter and are partially obscured by gum tissues.
- Genetics can also produce teeth that are small when compared to the gum line.
- Sometimes, it’s not the size of the teeth that’s the issue, but an upper lip that is too short.
- Gingival hypertrophy, or gum enlargement.
- In some cases, the gums can bulge out from the upper jaw, causing a problem known as vertical maxillary excess. This is caused by an overgrowth of the upper jaw.
- A hyperactive upper lip can also be a factor in the gummy smile problem.
How can I treat my Gummy Smile Problem?
The advancements put forward by modern dentistry has made it possible for both, the periodontist or cosmetic dentist to provide patients with an assortment of treatment options they can choose from.
To simplify and narrow it down, gummy smile corrections can be performed in two ways:
- Surgical method
- Non-surgical Techniques
Wondering what entails in the non-surgical approach to fixing gummy smiles? Keep reading to find out.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs):
This is a non-surgical, minimally invasive method of treating gummy smiles. It involves the use of temporary anchorage devices, or TADs, which are tiny screws positioned into the bone in your mouth. These screws are typically inserted by an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. Only local anaesthesia is used in this procedure.
Orthodontic treatments are largely preferred if your gummy smile is caused by jaw problems or bite issues. Thus, if misalignment of the teeth is your primary cause for a gummy smile, you can easily treat the problem using orthodontic therapies like braces or aligners. These orthodontic devices will help correct your gummy smile and improve the aesthetic function of your grin at the same time.
Instead of surgeries, you can also get injections of botulinum toxins, or Botox. Botox injections are administered by cosmetic dentists into the elevator muscles in your lips. However, while Botox injections are less invasive than other treatments such as gingivectomy, the risk of smile distortion is higher.
Veneers or Crowns:
If your gummy smile is mild, with fewer excess gum tissues, your dentist may recommend the placement of dental veneers or crowns. For this treatment, the orthodontist will attach crowns or veneers to your teeth to give them the illusion of a longer set of teeth. Once your teeth’s sizes are corrected, they will naturally become more proportionate to your gums, removing the excess gum tissue.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary corrective treatments for gummy smiles. The composition of chemicals used in this injection helps restrict the movement of muscle fibres in your lips for about 6 to 8 months. These fillers are the most inexpensive when compared to surgical options but bear the most risks.
Root Planing & Scaling:
Scaling and root planing (SRP), which is frequently regarded as a component of a dental cleaning, are important dental treatments that help to not only clean and smooth your tooth roots but also allow your tooth roots to reattach with your gums. Since the main objective of this dental treatment is to remove plaque from underneath your gums and smooth your tooth roots, it can play a pivotal role in altering the shape of your gum line.
Now let us briefly examine the surgical options for treating gummy smiles.
Also known as crown-lengthening or gum contouring surgery, gingivectomy is one of the most commonly recommended treatment options for gummy smiles. Here, the orthodontist will remove a small portion of your gum tissues, thus exposing more of your tooth. Because it can make your natural teeth look longer and more proportionate to the newly reduced gum line, this method is preferred over traditional veneers or dental crowns that are applied to the teeth solely to correct excess gums.
Laser Gum Contouring:
Laser gum contouring, like a gingivectomy, is a surgical procedure used to fix your gummy smile. However, this treatment procedure employs the use of lasers to contour your gums and recorrect your gum line. Laser gum contouring is a minimally invasive surgical technique, but unlike the conventional gingivectomy, lasers remove more gum tissues to enhance your gum shape.
Lip Reposition Surgery:
If the cause of your gummy smile is a hyperactive upper lip, then you may require lip repositioning surgery. In this surgical method, your lips are surgically lowered to hide the gum tissue that shows. This will also help improve the proportions of your smile. Lip repositioning surgeries are usually preferred for patients who are reluctant to remove a certain portion of their gums.
Getting the Right Diagnosis:
Since there are a plethora of options for gummy smile treatment, you will need to consult with your dentist to select the dental procedure that fits the bill. If the causes of your gummy smile are distinct and unusual, you may need to consult with an orthodontist or an oral surgeon.
The need for a gummy smile correction is not limited to aesthetic issues alone. Sometimes, people will require said treatments if they have a hyperactive lip or an improper bite. In addition to this, most of the aforementioned treatment options can be used for purposes that go beyond the need to modify a gummy smile. This means that you can still employ crowns, veneers, or even a gingivectomy to make your teeth look more harmonious and give you a perfectly straight smile.
Remember that gummy smile correction procedures are mostly permanent; thus, before beginning an irreversible dental treatment procedure, visit your local dentists to obtain an appropriate diagnosis.
Are gummy smiles stopping you from grinning ear to ear?
Then you may require a gummy smile treatment. Contact us at Micris Dental Clinic to book an appointment with one of our expert dental specialists. They will examine your teeth, lips, jaw, and gums and recommend the best course of treatment that will solve your gummy smile problem.
Check out our website to learn more about our services.