“The prettiest thing you can wear is a smile”
The beauty of a person is subjective and based on perception. While a smile in all forms is beautiful, people’s definition of a perfect smile can be different. Many people ‘wish’ they had whiter teeth, a better smile, a brighter smile, and the list is endless. With the advances in dentistry, cosmetic dentistry is playing a big role in delivering aesthetic smiles to people. One common problem that people visit their dentist with is – “How to fix a gummy smile?”
Before we answer that, we must know what a gummy smile is. The aesthetics of a smile are brought about by the perfect balance of the white and pink i.e. your teeth and gums. Apart from improperly aligned teeth, many people complain of an excessive show of the ‘white’ in their smile whereas others complaint of an excessive show of ‘pink’ in their smile.
When an individual shows too much of their gums while smiling, it is called a gummy smile. In such cases, the teeth usually appear small and less prominent as compared to the gums that appear to be dominating the smile. Such people are very conscious about their smiles and seek answers to questions like “How to fix a gummy smile?”
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
So, what are the causes of gummy smile? Is it just a matter of perception or is there an anatomical reason too? A smile is called a ‘gummy smile’ if more than 4 mm of the gum tissue shows when a person is smiling. In ideal cases, only 2 mm of gum tissue is visible.
Before we move on to how to fix a gummy smile, it is important to understand what causes gummy smile!
Excessive gum tissue: The most obvious cause of gummy smile is the presence of excessive gum tissue that covers a large portion of the teeth, making them appear short and small.
This can occur due to many reasons such as genetics, drugs, or inflammation of the gums. In order to fix a gummy smile, your dentist will identify and remove the underlying cause to reduce the gum tissue.
Abnormal eruption of teeth: When teeth do not erupt properly, they are covered by excessive gum tissue, even though they are properly developed underneath. This is another reason for a gummy smile.
A hyperactive lip muscle: How to fix a gummy smile in people with hyperactive upper lip muscle? Well, in some people, this hyperactive lip muscle leads causes the lip to be raised slightly higher than normal, thereby exposing a lot of the gum tissue. This is usually a genetic trait and is inherited.
Overall Dental Development: The development of one’s jawbones and teeth can lead to a gummy smile. For example, In people whom the upper jaw is too forwardly placed or protruding, it causes an excessive gum show, leading to a gummy smile.
Dr. Ankita Gada Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Excessive exposure of gums while smiling, also called a gummy smile, can make one conscious.”
Dr. Preethi Nagarajan Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “There are many reasons that can cause a gummy smile.”
Dr. Jena Shah Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “A gummy smile can be easily treated and treatment involves removing the cause and reducing the gum levels to expose more tooth.”
How to Fix a Gummy smile?
It is clear by now, that the way to fix your gummy smile is dependent upon what causes gummy smile. If you are conscious about it and are wondering how to fix a gummy smile, here are some treatment options that can restore the aesthetics of your smile!
Gum contouringThis is the most commonly done procedure to fix a gummy smile. The underlying cause is first removed and the excessive gum tissue is removed surgically or using a dental laser.
Crown Lengthening ProcedureIf you are wondering how to fix gummy smile when the underlying bone level also needs to be reduced, then a crown lengthening procedure is your answer!
In this procedure, the gum tissue is removed, the underlying bone is contoured and the gum level is brought down. This way, the teeth appear bigger and the smile is not gummy anymore!
Alternative DrugsSome drugs like Phenytoin cause gum hyperplasia or excessive gum tissue formation. By stopping these drugs and switching to alternatives is the best way to fix a gummy smile if it is caused by their use.
Scaling and Root planing for Inflamed GumsFor those individuals who have poor oral hygiene and are looking for answers to “how to fix a gummy smile?”, the most likely cause of gummy smile in your case is gum inflammation.
In these individuals, the most effective treatment is to get a few sessions of scaling and polishing or maybe a deep cleaning done. These procedures help reduce inflammation and size of the gums, thereby help fix a gummy smile.
Botox for Hyperactive Upper LipIn individuals who have a hyperactive upper lip causing a gummy smile, Botox treatment may be the right treatment for you. Injecting material in this region helps to reduce the movement of the upper lip, resulting in less gum show.
Orthodontic TreatmentIn cases where the gummy smile is due to improper teeth alignment, orthodontic treatment can successfully help fix a gummy smile.
Having a gummy smile is more common than you think but we are here to help you! If you want to know how to fix a gummy smile or wish to rectify your gummy smile, visit our cosmetic dentists at your nearest Sabka Dentist clinic!
Dr. Priyanka graduated in 2008, obtained her BDS degree from the faculty of dentistry at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences. Upon graduating, she was selected to complete a multi-disciplinary hospital residency at Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai. This residency provided her with advanced training in all the specialties of dentistry. Dr. Priyanka then moved to private practice, working as an associate dentist.
Dr. Priyanka has a diploma in Soft Tissue Lasers from IALD and fellowship in Implant & Esthetic Dentistry. Dr. Priyanka completed MBA in Hospital Management and Clinical Research. She has worked at Sabka Dentist since 2012 and is pleased to say that their advanced technology allows dentists like her to provide patients with painless, gentle dentistry and a pleasant experience.