Is your smile bothering you or more specifically, is your smile showing a little too much gum?
Well, we promise, you are not alone.
A gummy smile can actually make you feel extremely self-conscious as it’s one of the first things people see. Some experts predict that about 14 women and 7 men out of 100 will have an inordinate gingival display or a.k.a gummy smile.
Now onto what a gummy smile is and how it may affect your confidence.
So it turns out, having a gummy smile does not have a set of definitions and it is mainly based on perception. As it varies from person to person. That doesn’t mean that your gummy smile is all in your head! However, it has been shown that a smile will generally be seen as gummy when gum tissue measuring three millimeters or more is exposed.
There are several reasons why your smile shows excessive gum. Read on 🙂
Causes of a Gummy Smile
Although there are several causes of a gummy smile, the most common ones include:
- Teeth that look short because they remain partly buried within the gum tissue
- Teeth which are small when compared to the gums caused by heredities or wear
- A short upper lip
- Vertical maxillary excess, which means that you have an overgrowth of the upper jaw that causes the gums to bulge out
But the only way we can know for sure is by visiting your nearest dental clinic and getting them to check it out.
Now onto the next question, “How do I fix my gummy smile?”
Treatment will depend on what exactly is the cause. When people show more gum when they smile it is important to recognize this early as often the earlier we detect it the more options we have.
If your gummy smile is benign and not too noticeable and is caused by orthodontic issues such as a bad bite or minor jaw problems, then orthodontic appliances can help. Orthodontic treatments such as braces and Invisalign may help correct bite issues and the alignment of your teeth which can improve the appearance of your gums to make them seem less noticeable when smiling.
Other solutions can include:
1. A gingivectomy, a crown-lengthening procedure where gum tissues are removed from the tooth, exposing more of your natural tooth. This will help you be more confident as it balances out your teeth and gums
2. Crown-lengthening surgery If your teeth haven’t fully erupted (making them look short), a procedure to lengthen the crown can be done. Gum tissue and/or bone is removed to expose more of the tooth, allowing the gums to withdraw into their new position.
3. Laser gum contouring is similar to a gingivectomy, but it differs from a normal gingivectomy, as this procedure uses a laser to contour the gums and move back your gum line. Much like a traditional gingivectomy, this process is minimally intrusive, reshapes the gum line, and is usually a procedure done for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes and not because it is medically necessary.
So after reading the above, this should be like music to your ears as now you know that you don’t need to live a gummy smile and you can finally regain the smile that you’ll love! As you can see, there are many different treatment options currently available to you.
How to diagnose a gummy smile?
Interested? We break it down for you below.
First, your dentist or orthodontist will look into your medical history and take notes of problems you may or may not have had it in the past. Records including intra-oral and facial photos and x-rays are typically taken at this point.
Next, they will generally do an assessment of your teeth along with your gums and overall facial structure. This process allows them to perform a proper diagnosis and if required create a comprehensive treatment plan for your needs.
Excited but not sure how to proceed with the next step? Feel free to contact us at (02) 9122 1900 if you have any questions! We’re here to help.