If you have a large amount of gum tissue that is very noticeable while you smile then it may cause you to feel less than confident. Luckily, a gummy smile is something that your dentist is able to help with.
What Happens When You Have a Gummy Smile?
A smile with more than two millimetres of exposed gum normally qualifies as a gummy smile. There can be many reasons for this type of smile, including:
- Short or hyperactive upper lip muscles, which results in the lifting of the lip upwards.
- Unusual or altered eruptions of the tooth or teeth during childhood
- The upper teeth move downward
- Excessive growth of the upper jawbone
Treatment Options For Those Experiencing a Gummy Smile
There are three main treatment options for a gummy smile: crown lengthening, botulinum toxin (BT) injections, and orthodontic treatment & surgery. Your dentist will be able to explain each of these options and recommend the one that they think would work best for your unique situation.
A crown lengthening procedure involves removing some of the gum tissue to expose more of the tooth. In another part of the procedure, the gum line will be sculpted to make it go higher up. This second stage, sculpting the gum line, will usually be done by a periodontist.
Whether just one part of the procedure or both will be needed depends on each patient. Your dental team will discuss your treatment process with you in great detail before getting started to ensure you understand what will happen.
Botulinum Toxin (BT) Injections
It's natural to think of botox injections as a treatment for wrinkles and fine lines, but botox injections are also able to be used to treat a variety of dental concerns as well.
Botox can be useful for gummy smile treatments as it can dull overactive upper lip muscles. Treatment normally involves very small injections over three to six months. After this treatment is done, injections must be repeated every six months to a year.
Orthodontic Treatment or Surgery
There may be cases where the cause of the gummy smile is the excessive growth of the upper jawbone, then orthodontic treatment and surgery may be required. An orthodontist might use a special appliance to push the teeth upward to correct the issue. If necessary, they may also work with a team of dental surgeons to surgically move the teeth upwards.