There are a lot of reasons one might be unhappy with their gummy smile. One of the reasons being an excessive amount of gum is visible while smiling. This is known as a gummy smile! In a normal/ideal smile, 2/3rd of the crown part of the front teeth are displayed and the remaining parts are covered by the lips. If while smiling more of your gummy area or less of the crown part of the tooth is seen it causes an unfavourable appearance.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
- The teeth are covered with excess gum (teeth appear to be shorter than they are).
- When the lips are short/thin.
- The size of the teeth is smaller than that of the gums.
- The muscle in the lip is hyperactive, so when you smile, it lifts high giving a gummy appearance.
- Long/bulging gums.
- Malaligned teeth.
When Do You Need to Fix a Gummy Smile?
If the appearance of the smile bothers you it’s time you talk to your dentist about the available treatments, but if not appearance then there are also other reasons to get a gummy smile fixed. Your gummy smile may be due to crooked teeth or because of jaw bone problems, it ultimately makes it harder to clean your teeth causing decay and eventually gum problems.
Can Dentists Fix a Gummy Smile?
You can design your smile the way you want to with the expertise of a dentist. Gummy smiles too can be fixed by your dentist. There are a number of ways to fix a gummy smile, read on to know some of the common methods used:
1) Using a Laser to Shape Your Gums:
Using a laser the dentist can shape the gums according to the ideal smile or according to the patient’s preference. Advances in lasers for dental treatment have led to more successful and comfortable procedures.
2) Gingivectomy Procedure:
Sometimes a gummy smile is caused due to an excess amount of gum, in this procedure, the excess is trimmed off and shaped according to the shape of the tooth.
3) Fixing the Tooth:
The upper tooth might appear short giving a gummy appearance or the bite of the patient can alter the smile. This can be fixed by braces and surgery (if required). Sometimes just fixing crooked teeth makes the gummy smile better.
4) Jaw Surgery:
Your dentist might advise you to have jaw surgery which is altering the jaw bone to give you a more suitable smile. It also corrects some underlying problems with your teeth and alters the shape of your face making it more aesthetic.
5) Lip Surgery:
A lip repositioning surgery can help make your smile less gummy and is a good alternative to the more complicated jaw surgery. The lips are positioned in a way where it hides the gum portion making the smile more aesthetically pleasing.
6) Crown Lengthening :
In this procedure, an excess portion of gum is removed to display more of the tooth structure. This procedure generally takes 30- 60 mins, but can also depend from person to person.
7) Using Botox for Gummy Smiles:
You might have heard about Botox and know that it is used mostly for cosmetics but Botox is also used to treat gummy smiles! It is a quick procedure, Botox injection is given to the patient in the upper lip area, this relaxes the muscle covering the gum part creating a more desirable smile.
This treatment usually lasts from three to four months. You can ask your dentist about all the pros and cons of botox therapy and make your decision.
A smile is a powerful tool when it comes to one’s self-esteem and confidence. Advances in dentistry allow us to do things which would have been unimaginable a few years ago. You can get the smile you have always wished for and seen celebrities with.
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It’s essential to visit your dentist and know all your options and procedures available for a better dental experience. You can make an informed decision about the procedure you want to undergo once your dentist finds the most suitable solution for all your dental problems.
By Dr Shagorika Choudhury