A “gummy smile” refers to the appearance of excess gum tissue between the upper lip and your upper teeth when you smile. Regardless of how straight, white and pretty your teeth are, too much visible gum tissue can distract from the beauty of your smile. Thus, a gummy smile is a cosmetic concern that is worth correcting.
Fortunately, a gummy smile can often be fixed in simple, minimally-invasive ways. If your gums look long and your teeth look short when you smile, there are two possible scenarios. It may be that your teeth are plenty long enough, you just need to uncover them by trimming back the gum tissues. This can be accomplished during a simple oral surgery. In some cases, a dental laser can be used to sculpt, trim and reshape the gum line into a more aesthetically pleasing framework for your teeth.
The second cause of a gummy smile is an overactive upper lip. This means that your upper lip muscles are especially strong and reactive when you smile, causing the upper lip to rise higher than normal and expose more gum tissue. In this situation, Botox injections can be used to relax your upper lip muscles enough to better hide the gums during a big smile or laugh. Botox is a quick, no downtime procedure that can provide an effective solution for a gummy smile.
Both Botox and gum reshaping can be temporary. Botox may last for several months before an additional injection is needed. Likewise, gum surgery may need to be repeated if the gum tissue begins to grow back over the upper teeth. In some cases, bone trimming may be necessary to ensure a more permanent fix.
Your gums should be the foundation and framework of your smile, but not the main attraction. If all you see are gums when you smile in the mirror, you can do something about it. Dr. Gilreath is a talented cosmetic dentist who offers more than one treatment to address gummy smiles. Schedule your cosmetic dentistry consult today!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,