How to Fix Gummy Smile: Treatment Options & Causes

Are your gums getting in the way of your smile? If you don’t like how your gums look when you smile, then a gummy smile treatment may be able to help you.

Bet you didn’t know you could get your gums shaped and contoured to enhance your smile. We are happy to be the bearer of good news with the latest in modern dental technology and a range of dental procedures to not only improve aesthetics but also your oral health.

If you’re interested in treatments for a gummy smile and want to learn more about them, we’ve got your back. Read on to find out more about gummy smiles, their causes and the options available to fix your gums and improve your smile.

What is a Gummy Smile?

Excessive gingival display, commonly known as a gummy smile, occurs when smiling causes the excessive gum tissue to be visible above the upper teeth. This can detract from the appearance of your smile even if you have healthy, white teeth. A gummy smile can occur because of various reasons, such as having a short upper lip, excessive gum tissue, or a high lip line. In some cases, it can be purely cosmetic, while in others, it may be a sign of an underlying dental problem.

Causes of Gummy Smile

Some of the causes for a gummy smile include:

  1. Excessive Gum Tissue:

When the gums may cover a larger portion of the teeth, they make the teeth appear shorter and the gums more prominent. This can be due to genetics, poor dental hygiene, certain medications or conditions like gum disease.

  1. Abnormal Teeth Eruption

Sometimes, the teeth may not emerge from the gums in the right position, causing them to appear shorter and making the gums more visible when smiling. This can occur due to several reasons, such as genetics, overcrowded teeth or abnormal jaw growth.

  1. Overactive Upper Lip Muscle

When you smile, the upper lip moves upward, exposing the upper teeth and gums. In some people, the muscle that controls this movement may be overactive, causing the upper lip to lift too high and expose excessive gum tissue.

  1. Abnormal Jaw Growth

There are instances where the upper jaw may grow too much or too forward, leading to protrusion of the upper lip and excessive display of the gums. It can be due to a genetic condition called maxillary excess, which results in an overgrowth of the maxilla bone.

  1. Genetic Factors

Some people may simply have a genetic predisposition to a gummy smile. It can be due to various factors, such as the shape and size of the jawbone, lip thickness, or the amount of gum tissue present.

Gummy Smile Treatment Options

The cause of a gummy smile may be because of one or a combination of the factors given above. Only a qualified dentist can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment to correct a gummy smile.

Some of the treatment options for a gummy smile include:

Cosmetic Gum Lift/Gingivectomy

A cosmetic gum lift, also known as gum contouring, involves reshaping or removing excess gum tissue to improve the appearance of your smile by using a dental laser for precision accuracy and minimal discomfort. Gum lifts can help trim the excess gum tissue and restructure the gum line to expose the healthy teeth underneath for a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Cosmetic gum lifts may be recommended for patients whose gums are overly prominent and cover too much of their teeth or who have uneven gum lines due to genetics, gum disease, or other factors. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is usually completed in a single visit to the dentist.

Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatments can help treat a gummy smile by targeting the underlying causes of the condition. Depending on the specific case, orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners can help realign misaligned teeth, helping improve the position of the gums and reduce the amount of gum tissue that shows when smiling. Tooth extraction can also help when your teeth are overcrowded and don’t have room to grow at the right angle. This creates more space in the mouth, allowing for proper alignment and reducing the amount of visible gum tissue.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

When plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth and gums, it can cause inflammation, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, making them appear larger and more prominent. Removing plaque buildup and bacteria through professional teeth cleaning or scaling/root planning can help the gums heal and become healthier. This reduces swelling and inflammation, making the gums look smaller and improving the overall appearance of the smile.

Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic or jaw surgery can be used to reposition the jaw, improve the overall facial profile and reduce gum tissue. A jaw surgery is an invasive procedure and is generally recommended to treat bone irregularities. It requires careful planning and extensive consultation, requiring considerable healing time. Please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before considering invasive procedures or surgeries.

Lip Surgery

Lip surgery or a lip repositioning procedure can help fix a gummy smile caused by hyperactive lip muscles.

Muscle Relaxant Injections

Muscle relaxant injections or Botox can help relax overactive lip muscles, weakening them to reduce activity and reducing the effects of a gummy smile. This is a temporary solution to relax lip muscles and generally lasts for three to four months.

Ready to Achieve Your Smile Goals?

At Mosman Fine Dental, we combine aesthetics and functionality to help you achieve a smile that aligns with your aesthetic and oral health goals. Whether you are looking for a complete smile transformation with a personalised treatment plan or looking to treat a specific issue like a gummy smile, discoloured or missing teeth, we’ve got you covered. Book an appointment today.

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Monday 8:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 8:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 8:00 - 18:00
Thursday 8:00 - 18:00
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