A dazzling smile is composed of several different elements. While, white teeth that are perfectly aligned make up the most commonly recognized components of a beautiful smile, they are not the sole contributing factor. Just as important as having white, straight teeth is also having teeth that are shaped and size proportionately to your face and to each other. This proportionate look can be hindered by having what is known as a “gummy smile”.
Gummy smiles occur when there is excessive gum tissue, usually 3mm or over, in relation to tooth size. It can also be referred to as “gingival display” or “excessive gingival exposure”. Usually gummy smiles are caused by short upper lips, small teeth, and/or excessive gum tissue, which are ultimately all a result of genetics.
However, gummy smiles can be remedied with a variety of different treatment options. Treatments for gummy smiles aim to decrease the amount of gum tissue while increasing the visibility of the teeth below. They also work to contour the gums to give the teeth an optimal and proportionate shape. This helps to enhance the overall appearance of your smile.
One of the first options is laser or scalpel gum gingivectomy. With this procedure, your Periodontist will use either a scalpel or a laser to remove excess gum tissue and shape the remaining tissue. During the procedure, you will be given medication to be kept comfortable. Results from this procedure are immediate, however if the problem is caused by having too much bone underneath the gum line, then the gums may grow back, meaning the procedure will need to be repeated.
Another treatment option is crown lengthening with osseous surgery. With this option, both your gums and bones are trimmed back, which elongates your teeth. Recovery time depends on how much bone or soft tissue is removed and is generally longer when more bone is removed. The main benefit to this option is that you will not have to repeat the procedure once it has been completed.
Maxillofacial surgery may also be recommended in cases where shortening the upper jaw bone and moving it upwards will benefit the overall appearance and function of your smile. This is only a necessary treatment option if there is a condition present causing excessive vertical growth in the maxilla.
In some cases, botox injections may also help to improve the appearance of gummy smiles. If the upper lip muscle recedes too much, then it exposes more of the gum line, making the smile appear gummy. Botox injections help to relax the lip and facial muscles, which can lessen the appearance of large upper teeth.
Ultimately, the right treatment option depends on your individual needs. Sometimes, a combination of multiple treatments may need to be used to obtain the best results. If you are interested in treating your gummy smile or in getting more information about which treatment would work best for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Batra at Troy Dental Studio today!