Gummy smiles, also known as excessive gingival display, are those in which the gums cover a larger-than-normal portion of the teeth. While not a threat to health, gummy smiles can be aesthetically displeasing, leading to insecurities and a loss of confidence.
Before looking at how to resolve a gummy smile, it’s important to understand what causes it. According to Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar of BellaVista Dental Care, the condition can be caused by several factors.
“Sometimes the gums become overly thick, which in turn hide the teeth,” she says.
In this case, the procedure would entail removing the gum tissue using a laser – a less invasive procedure than the scenario in which the bone and gums are covering the tooth, as would be the case should an individual have innately short teeth.
“In the case you have bone and gums over the teeth, that’s more of a surgical procedure you’ll be looking at since there is bone involved,” explains Bhatnagar.
In the case surgery is performed because the teeth are too short, veneers would also be implemented.
Yet another possible cause for a gummy smile is the growth and positioning of the maxilla, the fixed upper jawbone. In the case there is excessive vertical growth of the maxilla, it can cause spacing between the gum line and upper lip. In some cases, surgery is a possible fix.
Depending on the severity and cause of the gummy smile, there are less invasive fixes as well, such as if the reasoning is due to a small upper lip.
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|Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar|
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“Sometimes everything is in place correctly, but the lip is too small,” says Bhatnagar. “In that instance, you can use derma fillers and plump up the lip to hide the gummy smile. There are a lot of options out there, but ultimately it depends on what is causing the gummy smile in the first place.”