Are your gums taking over your smile?
For people who have gummy smiles, it can be very frustrating that no matter how beautiful their teeth are, their gums dominate their smile and take the attention off their teeth and smile.
The treatment should fix the cause
There are several treatments that can minimize or completely eliminate a gummy smile. These solutions range from the simple Botox injections to more involved surgical procedures. The treatment depends on what is creating the gummy smile.
Here are the four main factors that can cause a gummy smile:
1. You have a hyperactive upper lip: If your upper lip muscles are overachievers that pull your lip up too high when you smile, you have a hyperactive upper lip. Your teeth and gums are the size that they should be. The only issue is the lip getting over-excited and jumping up too high. This can be easily treated with Botox injections.
2. Your teeth have worn down too short: As teeth wear down they also slowly move down into the mouth. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have any way of chewing food, right? When the teeth move down, they carry the supporting bone and gum tissue with them creating a gummy smile. The solution to this kind of gummy smile involves a combination of restoring the teeth to their original length and moving the teeth into their original position. It can also require periodontal “crown lengthening surgery” to remove the excess bone and gum tissue and root canal therapy to treat the exposed nerves. Getting the correct diagnosis is crucial in these complex cases.
3. Your smile looks gummy and your teeth look too short because your gums refuse to let go: Sometimes teeth look too short because they are covered by too much gum tissue in a very gummy smile. This is called “Altered Passive Eruption” and can be fixed with a gum removal and contouring surgery.
4. Your jaw (maxilla) is too long: When the upper jaw bone grows too long, it shows up as a lot of extra gums in the smile. It’s only in the last 50 years or so that oral surgeons started fixing this condition by reducing the jaw bone to normal height. This jaw surgery repairs both the cosmetic issues and any other accompanying jaw or tooth issues. We partner with fantastic specialists in the area to coordinate these surgeries.
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