Gummy Smile Got You Down? Here’s What You Can Do About It.

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If you are someone who constantly feels embarrassed or insecure about your gummy smile, we have something that might help you. A gummy smile is one where too much of your gum line or gum tissues above the top teeth are visible whenever you smile.

This condition, sometimes referred to as Gingival Display, can be treated if underline causes are carefully determined. The type of treatment may vary from patient to patient since the cause of a gummy smile is not always the same in every case.

In this article, we are going to share with you some of the most effective surgical as well as non-surgical treatments for a gummy smile. But before that, let’s first look at the definition and the main causes of a gummy smile to help you understand things better.

What is a Gummy Smile?

Experts define a gummy smile or excessive gingival display as the overexposure of maxillary gingiva when you open your mouth to smile or laugh. In some cases, this condition is visible even when your lips are in the rest position.

A gingival display of 1mm to 2mm is considered standard since it doesn’t affect your smile or overall appearance to a great extent. Your smile is considered gummy when it shows about 4mm or more of gums above your upper teeth.

According to research, about 7% of men and 14% of women suffer from a gummy smile which shows clearly that this condition is a lot more common in ladies than it is in men.

Causes of a Gummy Smile

A gummy smile is not just related to the growth of your gums. It is the way your gums, lips, and teeth work together that can lead to excessive gingival display. This is why it is very important that you carefully identify the cause of the gummy smile before selecting a certain treatment.

 Here are some of the main causes of a gummy smile that you need to know

  • Having smaller than-normal teeth
  • The movement of your upper lip while smiling
  • The position of your teeth and upper jaw relative to your upper face
  • Overgrowth of the upper jaw
  • Excessive wearing of your teeth
  • The length and shape of your lips (especially the upper lip) 


Treatments for Gummy Smile

When it comes to treating a gummy smile, you have both surgical and non-surgical options available. It is always a good idea to consult your dentist before treating the underlying issues that are causing your gummy smile.

Following is an overview of the most effective treatments that most medical experts recommend to help you get rid of the gummy smile

  • Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is effective when the cause of your gummy smile is an improper bite or some jaw issue. These treatments reduce discomfort or pain in your gums while making your smile more aesthetic.

Braces or Clear Aligners are among the most effective orthodontic treatments. These treatments correct your bite by moving your teeth to the right position. This results in less gum tissue exposure making your smile more uniform.

  • Crowns or Veneers

The use of dental crowns and veneers is effective when there isn’t any underlying issue with your jaws, lips, or teeth. It is a purely aesthetic treatment that does not affect the pain or discomfort you feel when there is an underlying reason behind your excessive gingival display. 

In this treatment, crowns or veneers are attached to your teeth to make them look longer and larger. This makes your teeth look more proportionate to your gums.

  • Scaling and Root Planting

In this treatment, the doctor removes plaque from the tooth to the root including the area under your gums. After the scaling procedure, the dentist smoothens out the roots of the affected teeth to reattach the gums.

This treatment is a good way to have your teeth deep cleaned and your gum line adjusted so that you enjoy both healthy teeth and an aesthetic smile.   

  • Crown Lengthening or Gingivectomy Procedures

This is a surgical technique where the dentist removes some of the gum tissue from the tooth which makes more of your natural tooth visible.

This process reduces the amount of gum tissue and makes your natural teeth more proportionate. This process is slightly more invasive than veneers and crowns, however, it can permanently treat the underlying cause of your gingival display.

  • Laser Gum Contouring

This process uses lasers to contour your gums and change the position of your gum line. It is mainly done for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes and most experts don’t consider it a medical necessity.

This procedure is done after giving the patient a local anaesthetic. After this procedure, you might feel discomfort for some time. The amount of pain and discomfort depends on the extent to which the gums are removed or reshaped.

  • Lip Repositioning Surgery or Botox

If you have a hyperactive lip as an underlying cause of your gummy smile, you can go for lip repositioning surgery. In this process, your lip is moved downward using surgery to hide your gums.

Botox is another effective treatment if you have a hyperactive upper lip. Injecting a Botox into your upper lip limits the range of its movement. This results in less exposure to your gums when you smile. 

Botox is not a permanent treatment like lip repositioning surgery and it usually lasts for about three to six months.               

Final Thoughts

So, this is all you need to know about the causes and treatments of a gummy smile. It is advised that you only go for these treatments when your gums are exposed more than 2 to 3mm on your upper lip. Most people go for minimally invasive procedures to treat their gummy smile and they feel satisfied with the results.

Finally, once again we urge you to contact your orthodontist before choosing any treatment for your excessive gingival display. This way you can avoid making any big mistakes that can permanently damage your smile.

Get in touch with Specialist Dental Services for expert gummy smile treatment services in London. 

Dr. Narinder Dhadwal

Narinder is a Specialist Periodontist based in private practice. She qualified from St. Bartholomew’s & The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London in 2007. During her studies she was awarded the Harold Fink Prize for outstanding academic achievement.

Posted On : April 14, 2023




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