The ideal “smile line” should reveal very little, if any gum tissue. Thus, people who show more pink than white when they smile are said to have a “gummy” smile. Often, these individuals are under the impression that they were born with excessively small teeth. This is usually not the case, however. A gummy smile is most often the result of overdeveloped gum tissue, which in many ways is good news.
There are a few common reasons why this happens. When adult teeth erupt, sometimes the gums do not recede as they should. This excessive gum tissue ends up covering more of the teeth than it is supposed to. Cases like these usually can be treated by removing this excess tissue with a gum reshaping procedure. A crown lengthening procedure which involves bone tissue removal may be necessary, depending on your individual case.
Over development of the upper jaw can also produce a gummy smile. In this case, some crown lengthening may help, but severe cases may require maxillofacial surgery. An overdeveloped upper jaw may cause bite problems or other issues that need attention. A thorough examination by your dentist will determine if this is the cause of your gummy smile and whether there are other problems that need treatment.
Some individuals with normal jaw development and gum recession may have an over-active upper lip. This may cause the upper lip to rise too high while smiling. Treatment for this condition will depend on the severity. Surgical lip repositioning or other cosmetic surgical procedures may be necessary.
Treatment for a gummy smile can be very simple, depending on the cause. If your gummy smile is caused by an overdeveloped upper jaw or hyperactive upper lip, it may be necessary to meet with specialists other than your cosmetic dentist. We know the finest maxillofacial surgeons and cosmetic surgeons in the area and will be able to refer you to them if necessary.
If you live in Southern Oregon, and want to get rid of your gummy smile and achieve the perfect smile line, we can help. Please contact us today to arrange a consultation.
Smile Gift 2013
- Eagle Point
- Advanced Dental Center
- 217 W. Main St. PO 236
- Eagle Point, OR 97524
- Phone: (541) 826-2525
- Ask The Doctors