Treatment Options for a Gummy Smile

Treatment of a gummy smile can be life changing. We can all be self-conscious about our smiles, and if you feel you have a gummy smile, you understand how it can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Ideally, when a person smiles, they should only show a few millimeters of teeth (called the Mona Lisa smile). However, a gummy smile means there is an abundance or greater proportion of gum tissue that shows than normal.

There is no cookie cutter cause or solution for most people with a gummy smile. Treatment varies depending on the cause and how much gum tissue is exposed. There are several ways to fix this type of smile that can create an improved quality of life and a more aesthetic appearance.

Gum Contouring Can Help a Gummy Smile

If the cause of your gummy smile is due to an overgrowth of tissue covering your teeth, you may be a good candidate for a gingivectomy. Excess gum tissue can be congenital or caused by medication. An overgrowth of gum tissue usually means you have normal-sized teeth that need to be more exposed by removing excess gum tissue. A gingivectomy will help correct your teeth and prevent them from looking too short. Custom and careful sculpting of your gum tissue will help create average-sized teeth with an adequate amount of gum tissue showing.

Gum contouring in Philadelphia is usually simple and delivers a tremendous outcome for those with a gummy smile. This surgical procedure can typically be done by laser treatment or by using a traditional scalpel and instruments.

Lip Repositioning

Sometimes the lip will rise higher than it should when smiling and speaking. The cause of this is due to hyperactive muscles in the lip. Oftentimes, Botox is used as a non-invasive treatment to help relax the lip. While Botox is often used as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles and frown lines, it is proven to help relieve a gummy smile almost instantly. The only downsides are the cost and that it requires frequent maintenance. However, most people feel the price tag is worth it to relieve a moderate case of a gummy smile.

Another type of lip repositioning procedure is surgically correcting the lip to create an improved smile line. A small piece of tissue is removed under the lip to help avoid the lip from lifting so high when you smile.

Orthognathic Surgery

When a gummy smile is caused by a protrusion of the upper jaw, it means there is excess maxilla. This type of smile usually presents with a face that may be too long or asymmetrical. To correct a gummy smile, orthognathic surgery is recommended to create a more aesthetic profile and smile. Most people will require some orthodontics to achieve an optimal bite.

This type of treatment helps create a better smile while also providing a more harmonious facial balance. The results are very dramatic and provide life-altering benefits for patients.

Gum Graft

If you have uneven or receding gums, you may be an excellent candidate for a gum graft. This type of surgical procedure significantly benefits patients because it restores a more youthful smile and symmetrical look. Gum grafts will replace lost gum tissue in areas of the mouth that are brushed too hard or suffer from excessive clenching.

Why fix a gummy smile?

The most common reason people request a correction of a gummy smile is insecurity while smiling. It seems trivial that gum tissue can cause self-esteem problems, but for many, it can cause embarrassment. Here are some of the top reasons to correct this type of smile.

  • Inflammation: Excess gum tissue can make it difficult to properly brush your teeth. When this happens, it causes your gums to become swollen and inflamed. Gum contouring or scaling and root planing can help remove bacteria and get your oral hygiene back on track. Sometimes if you have a minor gummy smile, a professional cleaning will help reduce or resolve that look.
  • Gingivitis: Poor oral hygiene is caused by a lack of brushing and flossing. When there is excess gum tissue, bacteria can build up and lead to gingival redness and bleeding. Even with the best hygiene, a gummy smile can sometimes make it difficult to get to those hard-to-brush areas.
  • Periodontal Disease: Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. A gummy smile sometimes causes deep pockets that allow bacteria to accumulate. By correcting this type of smile, you also improve your periodontal health by decreasing your pocket depths and reducing your chances for gum disease.
  • Tooth Decay: If there is excess gum tissue covering your teeth, you may be at an increased risk for tooth decay if food and plaque debris remain. Treatment of a gummy smile can help reduce your chances for cavities and improve your overall oral health.
  • Aesthetics & Confidence: Beauty is certainly subjective, but a gummy smile can have a negative affect on your confidence. Fortunately, there are several solutions to correct this type of smile depending on the cause. Treatment of a gummy smile always creates a more natural-looking smile and an improvement in how you present yourself to others.

Our staff at Bentz Dental Implants & Prosthodontics Center take great pride in helping patients feel comfortable, safe, and welcome. Our goal is to help you bring out your smile. And once we’re done, we guarantee you’ll be back in front of the mirror relishing your new smile.


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