Everyone has a reason to smile, but if you feel as though your smile looks to ‘gummy’, smiling might be something that makes you cringe. A great smile is all about proportion between the teeth and the gums. If no gum tissue can be seen when you smile, you might feel as though your smile is ‘toothy’. If too much gum tissue can be seen, your smile could look ‘gummy’. Fortunately, St. Augustine dentists see this condition quite often, and there are lots of solutions for correcting it.
To determine the best treatment solution, it is first necessary to identify the cause of the gummy appearance. A gummy smile is typically caused by one of the following conditions:
- Abnormal tooth eruption- The teeth are the proper length, but have failed to completely erupt or emerge from under the gums.
- Hyperactive Upper Lip Muscle- A strong lip muscle can pull your lip up higher than normal and expose too much gum tissue whenever you smile.
- Upper Jaw Bone Development- A protruding upper jaw makes the gums appear more prominently in your smile.
Depending upon the cause of the gummy smile, the dentist will recommend one or both of the following treatment options:
- Lip Repositioning- The lips and gums can be numbed with local anesthetics, the hyperactive lip muscle can be gently separated and the upper lip can then be surgically reattached closer to the teeth.
- Crown Lengthening- The teeth and gums can be numbed with local anesthetics and the dentist can surgically reshape the bone and gum tissue around a single teeth or across the entire gum line. This procedure safely exposes more of the tooth surface to reveal a longer tooth and less gum tissue.
When you take steps to have your gummy smile corrected, you might find that your choice leads to some surprising benefits. Of course you’ll notice the aesthetic improvement in your smile, but you could also enjoy an increase in your self-confidence. If the gummy look is taking the fun out of smiling, talk to a St. Augustine dentist to explore your options today.