Your teeth are beautiful, but sometimes it can be  your gums that make you lose confidence in your smile.

Although it varies from person to person, a ‘gummy’ smile is where the gum tissues are too visible or over-prominent compared to your teeth.

According to statistics, about 10% of all 20 to 30 year-olds have this so-called gingival or ‘gummy’ smile.

The perfect smile is one where gums aren’t visible at all and only the upper incisors can be seen. Even the lower front teeth should only be minimally visible when you smile.

A gummy smile, on the other hand, shows more than 2 mm of upper gum – anything less is usually considered normal.

Patients aren’t usually fond of this look and often complain about a smile that appears to be childish or ruins their well-polished look. Let us explore the topic of gummy smiles and how your dentist can create the perfect smile for you.

What Causes A Gummy Smile?

There is no denying the fact that a beautiful smile has an impact on all areas of your life. So when something feels a little ‘off’ about the way we smile, it’s only natural to become concerned.

Here are several reasons why your gums might have become longer and more prominent than the teeth:

  • A short upper lip
  • An upper lip that moves too much (hypermobile)
  • A Vertical Maxillary Excess (VME)
  • An extreme overbite
  • Teeth that haven’t completely erupted through the bone (Altered Active Eruption)
  • Gums that haven’t receded despite advancing age (Altered Passive Eruption)

Sometimes, the muscles that control the upper lip are super hyperactive. So anytime you talk or smile, they move higher than usual, exposing too much gum tissue and compromising the quality of your smile.

Other times, teeth appear short even if they are the right length because they haven’t emerged entirely from the gum and are still covered excessively by gum tissue.

Another problem is the development of the jaw bone itself; for example, if the upper jaw bulges within the gum tissue, the result will be an undeniable gummy appearance every time you smile.

It is interesting to see that the causes of a gummy smile are associated with the teeth, gums, jaws and lips – all the essential components of a perfect smile.

How Can My Dentist Help Correct My Gummy Smile?

If you feel shy and self-conscious when smiling, the right gummy smile treatment can help you build your confidence.

In a study titled Treatment of Gummy Smile of Multifactorial Etiology: A Case Report, it was reported that ‘’aesthetic crown lengthening and a subsequent lip repositioning procedure’’ worked well for a teenager with gummy smile caused by an ‘’altered passive eruption and hyperactive lip.’’

A number of dentists use laser instead of a scalpel for this gum re-contouring procedure, which has been made a lot less invasive compared to old-fashioned surgical techniques.

There is no need to use injectable anaesthesia in a majority of cases – also, you will not require stitches following the laser surgery which makes this treatment completely safe.

The laser gently cuts away excessive gum tissue, while also cauterizing it simultaneously. This way, there is little to no bleeding and zero chances of infection.

Laser Gum Recontouring and Reshaping is an advanced procedure that results in an even gum line and a beautiful smile. During this process, dentists remove or lessen thick gum tissue or short teeth – you will also find that your comfort has increased, along with enhanced periodontal health. This procedure can usually be part of a smile makeover that an aesthetic dental clinic like Orchard Scotts Dental can do along with other procedures like Invisalign for associated issues like overbites.

There is virtually no downtime needed after this procedure; your gums will only be a little swollen and a bit sore for at least a week. In other words, you can easily continue to eat and drink as you please.

However, your dentist may advise you to avoid spicy or other such foods that may get stuck between the teeth and cause discomfort.

There are several other ways that your dentist can help you as well. These include:

  • Orthodontic treatment – This helps fix over-erupted teeth and positions them correctly using braces or Invisalign.
  • Botox – This is a modern method of correcting a gummy smile that fixes hypermobile lips with a few injections. The results are temporary and you may need to get another Botox treatment in a couple of months.

These treatment options have been tried and tested, and have resulted in great smiles for patients across the world.

Since each case is different, it is usually a good idea to ask your dentist about the best possible treatment option for you. For example, you may find that Botox is a better fit for you in case there are expected complications with orthodontic treatment.

Talk To Your Dentist About The Right Option For You

Receiving the right diagnosis is the key to getting the proper treatment. You can count on us at Orchard Scotts Dental to get to the root cause of the excessive gum display and ensure that all the components of your smile work together harmoniously!

Dental laser is a great idea for those who are afraid of dental procedures and surgeries. The results are spectacular as the treatment gives you an attractive smile faster, and without much discomfort.

Are you ready to improve the aesthetics of your gum line? Get in touch today to learn more about our services.