A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, refers to a smile that shows a disproportionate amount of gums in relation to teeth.
Teeth often appear smaller than they really are because the gums encroach too far down.
Every smile is as unique as the person it represents, and every person feels differently about the smile they show the world. For patients who may want to change the look of a gummy smile, Epic Dentistry is here to help.
What cases a gummy smile?
A properly balanced smile shows the correct proportion of teeth to gums. We classify several different causes for gummy smiles
- Teeth that look shorter because they erupted improperly or remain partially covered by an excessive amount of gum tissue
- Teeth that are smaller due to genetics or wear on teeth, leading to a disproportionate amount of gum showing
- Short upper lips that do not adequately cover the gums
- Gingival hypertrophy, or gums that are too long or enlarged
- Vertical maxillary excess, or an overgrowth of the upper jaw.
Gummy smiles are typically considered a cosmetic issue, so there are no health concerns that you need to worry about related to it. However, some people may feel self-conscious about their smiles – treatment can improve self-esteem and help patients greet the world confidently.
Treatments for gummy smiles
Before treatment can begin, it is important to first determine the root cause of the gummy smile and the severity of the issue. Common treatments include:
- Orthodontics. This can be an excellent option for patients who show excessive gums due to the alignment of their teeth or jaws. Teeth will be guided to their ideal locations, helping to make the gums appear less prominent.
- Veneers or crowns. This type of restorative dentistry can help patients who have teeth that are either too short or worn down. Crowns or veneers can make the teeth appear longer and improve the ratio of tooth to gum.
- Gingivectomy. This procedure can be performed if there is an excess of gum tissue. The extra gum tissue is removed and the remaining tissue is reshaped to allow for more of the tooth to show.
- Crown lengthening. This is for patients whose teeth didn’t fully erupt, and can remove excess gum tissue and bone in order to expose more of the tooth and allow the gum to retract to the correct position.
- Lip repositioning. This surgical procedure restricts the muscle pull of the lips in order to minimize the amount of gum that shows when smiling.
- Laser gum recontouring. A dental laser removes extra gum tissue, without the need for surgery.
If you are concerned about your gummy smile, schedule a consultation to determine the cause of your issue, and to find the correct treatment to give you the smile of your dreams.