Have you noticed your smile showing a little bit more tooth or a little bit more gum than before? If you have, chances are, you may have a condition that’s referred to as excessive gingival display, or what’s more commonly known as a “gummy smile”.
A gummy smile can be caused or be a result of the following:
- The abnormal eruption of teeth may cause an excessive display of your gum tissue. The excess gum tissue may then make the tooth appear much shorter than it actually is.
- The muscles responsible for controlling the movement of your upper lips could be hyperactive. This could cause your upper lips to rise up higher, exposing more of your gum tissue every time you smile.
- Irregularities in the growth and development of the upper jaw bone may cause your teeth to show more gums when you smile. For example, if the upper jaws within the gum tissue has some form of excessive bulging protrusion, you definitely would have a gummy smile.
Is a Gummy Smile Just An Esthetic Problem?
The esthetics of your smile is affected by four main factors, which are the shape and size of your lips and teeth, your facial muscles and your gum tissue.
Ideally, a good smile would show as little gum tissue as possible. It is for this reason that those with gummy smiles feel embarrassed about smiling and rarely want to smile.
A gummy smile, though, is not just an esthetic problem. It is possible that behind that gummy smile could be a serious underlying dental condition. For example, if the gummy smile is the result of improper development of the jaw or tooth, it may lead to bite problems that could undermine your oral health in the long term.
How To Fix A Gummy Smile
The good thing is that there are plenty of available treatments for a gummy smile, and depending on the nature of your specific care, the treatment could be any of the following:
- For minor cases, same-day laser treatments.
- Surgical lip repositioning
- Orthodontic treatment, such as braces, to help move teeth into their ideal positions.
- Surgical sculpting of gingival tissues, as well as bone, or better known as gum contouring.
- Maxillofacial surgery for bone repositioning.
- Crown lengthening to remove excess gum tissue (and if necessary, this includes the bone) to create an even gum line and improve the appearance of one’s smile.
Most of these treatments are available at a general dentist’s or cosmetic dentist’s clinic. However, in worse cases, you may have to go to a periodontist, orthodontist or even an oral surgeon for treatment.
So many factors come into play when it comes to gummy smiles, which is why the first step in having it treated is to see a specialist first. There, the dental professional will check your teeth and gums to see if what the appropriate treatment for your particular case is.
If you’re suffering from a gummy smile, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to see what treatment options are available for you. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.