Is your Gummy Smile Bothering you? Here’s how it can be fixed
How to fix your gummy smile?
Hiding your smile because your gums are more prominent? Is this causing you to be more self-conscious? Are you sometimes embarrassed by it in a public setting? Can you imagine the bittersweet feeling of being embarrassed every time you laugh in delight?
Well, we do and we believe no one needs to carry that burden.
So what does a person with a gummy smile do?
There are various treatments that can help you smile with delight without feeling conscious about your gums. Let us understand what exactly is considered a gummy smile.
What is a gummy smile?
A smile compliments the whole face and there is no exact definition for a gummy smile. In an ideal smile, the upper lip sits just about 0 to 2mm above the teeth. A gummy smile could, however, expose a larger than average amount of gum tissue. Generally, 3 to 4 mm of the exposed gum line is considered to be resulting in a gummy smile.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
There are several factors, listed below are the ones that are most common:
- Teeth Growth: Adult teeth may grow in a way that are not consistent. When gums cover more of the teeth’s surface when growing, it can cause a gummy smile. This condition is called altered passive eruption.
If the teeth in the front overerrupt or grow too far, the gingiva and bone move with teeth, and the gums might also grow too far. This condition is known as dentoalveolar extrusion.
If the bones of your upper jaw grow longer than their typical length, a gummy smile can occur. This is called vertical maxillary excess.
- Extra Gum (Gingiva) is covering the Teeth: Too much gum covering the teeth is one of the most common causes of a gummy smile. Although the teeth are normal size; they are just hidden by extra gum.
- Lip differences: Another reason for a gummy smile is when the upper lip is on the shorter side. The teeth and the gums might be at normal height, but the lip is pulling up far while smiling or at times while talking causing a gummy smile.
- Medications: There are medications that can cause gums to grow too much around the teeth. This is known as gingival hyperplasia. Medications that are taken to treat high BP, medications that prevent seizures, etc.
What are the treatment options for correcting a Gummy Smile?
The first step toward treatment is finding and understanding the cause. This will help in providing the right treatment. There are various treatment options available.
- Lip repositioning surgery: If lips are the cause of your gummy smile, lip repositioning surgery would be recommended.
The procedure for gummy smile reduction by lip repositioning involves making two incisions at the gum line under the lip. A section of connective tissue from the underside of the upper lip is removed. This prevents the elevator muscles located in the area of the lip and nose from lifting the upper lip too high – The result? When the person smiles the lip won’t rise as high as before, thus preventing a gummy smile.
The exterior part of the lip is not affected. The procedure lasts anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. Recovery typically takes about a week. In many cases, the results are permanent, but there are chances of a relapse.
- Orthognathic surgery (Correcting the Jaw): Orthognathic surgery is recommended when the jaw is the reason for the gummy smile. This procedure will balance the length of the upper and lower jaws.
Both an orthodontist and a maxillofacial surgeon will be assisting in this surgery. More than one scan is taken to exactly find where the jaw is overgrown. General anesthesia is administered for this surgery. The surgeon will remove a section of the bone from the upper jaw to balance the length of both, the upper and lower jaws. The jawbone will be then fixed again with plates and screws. Healing typically takes 7 to 12 weeks. This procedure is the most complex of all the treatments.
- Temporary anchorage devices: Temporary anchorage devices (TAD) are generally mini-screws implanted into the bone in your mouth (placed in either alveolar or extra-alveolar bone). Talk to your doctor if these are the right option for you. This device can help pull your teeth into a position that may reduce a gummy smile.
- Gingivectomy or Crown Lengthening: If too much gum covers the surface of the teeth, the dentist might recommend a procedure known as a gingivectomy also known as gum contouring. It involves the removal of extra gum tissue. A scalpel or laser is used to reshape or trim the gums to reveal more of your teeth’s surface. The results are likely to be long-lasting or permanent.
Do you have a gummy smile and is it affecting your self-esteem? .The listed treatment options should help you smile confidently. Talk to us today to know which treatment is the best for you