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Gummy Smile

Gummy smile What is it, and what should it be?

Worried about showing your gums too much when you smile? Although it does not have to be an oral health problem, the gummy smile or gummy smile is an aesthetic issue many people want to correct to improve their appearance and self-esteem. At Virginia Dental Care, you can have a lovely smile for a long time with a few injections of a temporary muscle relaxant.

What is the gummy smile?

We talk about a gummy smile when a person shows an excessive amount of gum when smiling. In particular, we refer to the exposure of more than 2 mm of gum, which is visible disproportionately to the tooth.This overexposure of gingival tissue, which can have different degrees of severity, often causes embarrassment or insecurity regarding smiling. However, today there are different aesthetic methods to correct it depending on its cause.

Causes of the gummy smile

Before detailing the treatments to solve the gummy smile, the dentist must evaluate and explore its cause. These are the different possibilities:

  • Excessive growth of the upper jaw bone is among the most frequent causes. This overgrowth causes the mandible to develop less, and there is, therefore, a disproportion between the upper jaw and the mandible. As a consequence, the gums also protrude.
  • Malocclusion or chewing problems involve dental wear and abnormal teeth movements to compensate for difficulty chewing, which can expose the gums more. It can be caused, for example, by upper teeth that are longer than lower ones. It is another quite frequent cause that should be treated beyond aesthetics.
  • Altered passive eruption: the upper teeth remain smaller or shorter than normal, covered by a greater proportion of gingiva.
  • Upper lip size and mobility – Occurs when the upper lip is too short or rises excessively when smiling.
  • Gingival hyperplasia: the gums grow more than normal due to the consumption of some medications, such as antidepressants, immunosuppressants or antiepileptics. It can also be hereditary.

Treatment Options for Gummy Smile

Once the root causes of your gummy smile have been found, which could be a number of different things, our dentist will tell you what you should do to reduce the amount of gum that shows when you smile. The cost, complexity, duration of results, and potential hazards of these treatments will vary.

1. Orthodontics Treatment

Braces can force teeth back into the gums if tooth troubles generate a gummy smile. Once the teeth and gums are in the correct position, veneers or crowns can be placed to repair the tooth structure so the top and bottom bites match.

2. Jaw Surgery

A skilled orthodontist and oral surgeon may conduct Orthodontic surgery, a bone-shortening technique, in some cases where the jaw is much too big (often more than 7mm of gum is visible). This entails operating to elevate the entire jaw.

3. Lip Surgery

Our oral surgeon can permanently limit a hyperactive or hypermobile upper lip with surgery. Surgically lengthening a short lip is possible. Scar tissue and smiling can offset the lengthening from surgery. Hence, you can beautify your smile and feel confident in front of the world.

4. Gum Lift

A gingivectomy can address gummy smiles caused by enlarged gums. A gingivectomy can be done in one dental appointment using a laser to reshape and remove extra gum tissue. This will shorten the gums and produce more symmetry along the gum line.

Can a gummy smile be prevented?

Some exercises can help us hide, in some cases, the gummy smile, but they require daily consistency for many months. For example, massaging and stimulating the lips and the muscles around them or gently biting the lips.

Results of Gummy Smile Treatment

Without visible gums, a bright smile! The top lip precisely reaches your teeth after the gummy grin procedure. The temporary muscle relaxant starts to work after a few days, reaches its peak after a week, and wears off after three to six months. Have you always desired that? Then you can get assistance from our skilled, properly qualified cosmetic doctors. Don’t you wish to resume your previous smile at that point? Using a short-term muscle relaxant to repeat the procedure is easy and efficient.

Gummy smile treatment

Once the cause is identified, the dentist will propose the appropriate treatment to improve the appearance of the gummy smile and, if necessary, resolve malocclusion problems (poor positioning of the teeth to their opposites).

Orthodontics for the gummy smile

The dentist recommends orthodontics when the gummy smile is due to a bad bite. This treatment, carried out with clear aligners or brackets, is suitable for children and adults.
In this sense, it is essential to improve the bite to avoid future digestion problems, dental wear, the risk of cavities, etc. In some cases, orthodontics may not be enough to completely correct the gummy smile, so surgery may be recommended afterward.

Veneers or crowns

When the cause of the gummy smile is too small for the teeth, the solution may be veneers or crowns. This non-surgical method allows you to modify the shape and appearance of your teeth to make them appear longer. This way, it improves the disproportion to the gums, which look smaller.

Veneers or crowns are used to improve any irregularity with a very natural result. The main difference is that veneers are attached to the front of the tooth (the visible part), while crowns are placed on top of the tooth to replace it.

Surgical treatments

There are different surgical options to reduce the gummy smile. However, this is the most appropriate treatment when the gum exceeds 6-7 mm:

Gingivoplasty: a technique that removes a part of the gum. Veneers are also placed to prevent the gingival tissue from growing back, or bone remodeling is performed.

Myotomy: Small surgery performed when the cause is the upper lip that rises too high when smiling. The goal is to weaken the levator labii muscle.

Orthognathic surgery is the appropriate option when the person has a more developed upper jaw. This surgical method helps to correct the size and position of the facial bones to reduce the upper jaw and reposition it.

Aesthetic treatment with Botox

Lastly, Botox or botulinum toxin injections improve gummy smiles when the cause is a too-short or highly mobile upper lip. Through this treatment, the force of contraction of the labial muscles can be reduced.
This method is good because it doesn’t hurt you, but it only works for a short time.
However, its duration is about 6 months, so the patient must repeat it after that time.