Many individuals feel more or less satisfied with their smiles—until they get a glimpse of themselves from a new angle in a photograph. That’s when they notice just how much their upper lip lifts or perhaps how a wide band of pink gum dominates their mouth.
The gummy smile shows much more gum tissue, compared to the teeth, when smiling, or even open your mouth so you speak. This can result to a smile that can look unnatural, making the teeth look very small in the process.
Causes of Gummy Smile
One or more of the factors mentioned below can result in the development of a gummy smile
- Worn teeth, which can make the size of the teeth a lot smaller than what is normally acceptable
- A high lip line, which causes more of the gums to be visible even when the lips are at rest
- Teeth that are much smaller compared to the length and size of the gums that support them
- Teeth that have not fully erupted from the gums will make the gums look abnormally big
- Skeletal deformities of the jaw bone
An Aesthetic Problem or Something More?
The Smile esthetics of is affected by four main elements, which are the shape and size of your lips and teeth, your facial muscles and the gum tissue.
Ideally, a good smile would show as little gum tissue as possible. Although a gummy smile, is not just an esthetic problem. It is possible that behind that gummy smile could be a serious underlying dental condition.
Correcting a gummy smile or gum recontouring can be accomplished by one of two possible simple surgical procedures. The first procedure is called 1. Gingivectomy; It is performed when the amount of gum reduction necessary is minimal such as in mild gummy smiles. During this procedure, a minimal amount of gum tissue is removed with a dental laser which is painless.
2. Crown Lengthening ; More advanced gummy smiles require more extensive tissue reduction, This is done by a procedure known as crown lengthening. During this painless procedure , the gum tissues are lifted off the bone and placed in a desired new position and some minor bone around the teeth is also minimally reduced and contoured. This is done so as to prevent the gum from possibly moving towards the teeth later on.