For some, a gummy smile has been one of the biggest sources of self-consciousness, creating visual disharmony of the overall facial proportions. While covering the mouth compensates to help them feel more comfortable, insecurity still weighs on them.
Fortunately, a range of treatment options is available to help improve the appearance of a gummy smile and restore smile confidence.
What’s Considered A Gummy Smile?
While there is no exact definition, in reality, it largely rests in the eye of the beholder. The perception of the gumline could be affected by the following:
- the height and shape of the teeth
- the way the lips move when smiling
- the angle of the jaw compared with the rest of the face
In general, 3 to 4 millimeters of exposed gumline is considered to be disproportionate, resulting in a gummy smile. That said, the first step in correcting a gummy smile is researching since it is best to familiarize the information before jumping into a treatment option.’
The next step is a consultation with a gummy smile specialist. At the consultation, the gummy smile specialist listens to the concerns and goals, examines the smile, takes pictures, reviews x-rays, and discusses available options. In fact, they may also be able to digitally simulate the procedure’s outcome, depending on the case.
What Are The Ways To Fix A Gummy Smile?
With the latest modern technology, a “gummy smile” can be improved with no surgery. Note that non-invasive surgery doesn’t only apply to cosmetic ones but also dental methods. Here are ways to fix the problem.
Crowns or Veneers
If any significant problems with the teeth don’t cause the gummy smile, veneers or crowns can help. Putting a veneer or crown on the teeth is a purely cosmetic treatment, so if an underlying problem causes the gummy smile, this won’t help with any pain or discomfort that comes from that problem.
For this treatment, the dentist or orthodontist will put veneers or crowns on the teeth to make them look longer and more extensive. This will make the teeth look closer to the same size as the gums and is a pretty non-invasive way to make the gummy smile look better.
Laser Gum Contouring
Laser gum contouring is like a gingivectomy, but instead of a scalpel, a laser is used to shape the gums and move the gum line back. This procedure is similar to a traditional gingivectomy.
It is minimally invasive and changes the shape of the gum line.
However, unlike a traditional gingivectomy, this procedure is usually done for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons and not because it is medically necessary.
Laser gum contouring often removes more gum tissue than a traditional gingivectomy, but how much gum tissue is removed depends on the shape of the mouth and gums. A local anesthetic for laser gum contouring and a traditional gingivectomy will be needed. The patient will probably feel pain after either of these procedures, but the pain will depend on how much gum needs to be removed.
If the gummy smile is due to the jaw or a bad bite, orthodontic treatment might be a good choice. By taking care of these underlying problems, both pain and discomfort can be fixed caused by these conditions and how the smile looks.
If the teeth are straight when smiling, the gums may show less, making the gummy smile look better. Make sure to consult a dentist or orthodontist about whether an orthodontic treatment is needed to fix the gummy smile.
Botox can be a solution since it’s a procedure that can move the lip down to cover more of the gums and make the smile look better. This minimally invasive procedure can improve the smile and eliminate the gummy smile. Also, Botox can help if the upper lip moves too much.
Putting Botox into the upper lip will limit how much the upper lip can move, and the gums won’t show as much when smiling. This is a real problem to fix if having a gummy smile because the upper lip moves too much. Note that Botox will wear off in three to six months.
Root Planing and Scaling
Scaling is when a dentist eliminates plaque from the tooth to the root, even under the gum. After scaling the teeth, the dentist will smooth out the roots of the teeth to help the gums heal. This is an excellent way to clean teeth and change gums’ lines.
Another way to temporarily correct a gummy smile caused by hypermobile lips involves injections of hyaluronic acid fillers. The fillers restrict the movement of muscle fibers in the lip for up to 8 months.
Which Treatment Is Best For Gummy Smile?
The best treatment option will depend on the common causes of a gummy smile, such as:
- Too Much Gum over the Teeth: Gingivectomy or crown lengthening is commonly used to correct big gums that make the teeth look short.
- The Lip Rises too High: Lip lowering surgery is best for permanent correction if the lip rises too high when smiling, or consider Botox for a more temporary option.
- The Upper Jaw is Too Long: If the maxilla is skeletally too long, but the orthodontics generally can function adequately, lip lowering surgery can improve a gummy smile. If the maxilla is long and the top and bottom jaw orthodontically do not align, orthognathic surgery is often a better option.
Who Are Candidates to Fix A Gummy Smile?
Gum smile reduction is ideal for patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their gums and teeth. Hence, the best and most common candidates for gummy smile reduction are those who:
- Have been unhappy with the appearance of their gummy smile
- Understand the risks and rewards of fixing a gummy smile
- Have realistic expectations
- Have healthy gums and teeth
- Practice good oral hygiene
The Bottom Line
A gummy smile has become a cosmetic concern for some people, and more effective and safe methods are now available to enhance how the smile looks. Lush Skin Aesthetics offers treatment options to help address a gummy smile and achieve the smile you always desire. Aside from addressing the appearance of your teeth, they can ultimately restore confidence in your smile.