What makes the perfect smile? Pearly white teeth that are in line with each other, yes. But other than the teeth, the gums are also a part of the overall aesthetic of a smile. Showing too little gum usually is not a problem for people, but showing too much gum might make you feel self-conscious.

Having a gummy smile does not affect their function. Your gums are there to help stabilize your teeth, but they also contribute to the aesthetic of your smile and should frame your teeth proportionally.

Many patients do not know that there are solutions available that can help you improve your gum to tooth ratio. The solution that is chosen is based on the reason you have a gummy smile, and there are a few different reasons; we will go through them below.

Excess Gum Tissue

This one is a bit self-explanatory! And the most obvious reason you have a gummy smile: you have excess gum tissue that hides some of the white crowns of your teeth. This can be corrected by a surgical procedure called “crown lengthening.” This procedure will remove some of your excess gum tissue and then reshape the remaining gums and bone to allow more teeth length to show.

Short Size and Shape of the Teeth

Your gummy smile may not be the result of having excess gum, but rather having too small or too short of a length of tooth. This can be caused by many reasons, either genetics, constant teeth grinding, ageing or because the teeth themselves did not erupt fully. One solution is to lengthen the teeth cosmetically using veneers, crowns or other bonding techniques.

Higher Degree of Lip Movement or Length of Lip

Rather than the problem laying with the teeth or gums, the problem could be that your upper lip is rising a bit too high when you smile. This condition is known as hypermobility. Botox can be used as a temporary fix for this condition. The Botox injections will temporarily freeze your lip muscles, preventing them from overextending and causing you to have a gummy smile. Periodontal surgery is a permanent solution, this is where surgery is used to perform a lip stabilization procedure, which corrects the upper lip movement.

Your Jaw is Overextended

A gummy smile may have to do with the shape of your skull and jaw. An overextended jaw that extends too far down and forward could cause your gums to appear more prominent than they really are. If this is the case, jaw straightening surgery might be recommended to you. This is also known as orthognathic surgery, and it can be used to reposition the jaw up and back where it would reduce the amount of gums shown when you smile.

Causes of gummy smiles vary, and so do the treatments available to fix it. Solutions can range from purely cosmetic to physical, corrective surgeries.Your dentist can help you determine what is causing your gummy smile.

If you would like more information about gummy smile and what solutions are right for you, please contact us today or schedule an appointment.