It’s not your teeth that make you feel less than confident in your smile, it’s your gums. When you smile, your upper lip stretches up high enough to expose a pink ribbon of gum tissue, giving you a “gummy smile.”
Most patients aren’t fond of this look, complaining that it makes their smile appear childish and ruining their polished, mature appearance. In the cases that you have longer gums than teeth, the dimensions of your smile may seem “off.”
Let’s explore gummy smiles and what your dentist may be able to do to help you get the smile of your dreams.
What causes a gummy smile?
Your eyes are halfway between the top of the head and the chin. The corners of your mouth line up with the centers of your eyes. The standard properties for the human head can help you place facial features and find their orientation, making someone appear more attractive the more their facial features are proportioned. It’s literally how our brain reads beauty!
The same idea can be applied to our smile. But what causes your gums to become longer than your actual teeth?
- A short upper lip.
- A hypermobile lip (lip that moves too much).
- Vertical maxillary excess (VME).
- An excessive overbite.
- An altered active eruption (when teeth don’t erupt through the bone).
- An altered passive eruption (the gums don’t recede as the person matures).
How can a dentist near me help correct my gummy smile?
Dentists who specialize in cosmetic procedures estimate that about 14 percent of woman and 7 percent of men have excessive gum tissue exposed while smiling. If you fall in that pool of statistics, you may be wondering how a dentist can ever help you reach your smile goals.
There are a few ways your dentist can help you reveal your best natural smile:
- Getting orthodontic treatment can help intrude over erupted teeth and level them to the correct position, eliminating your gummy smile.
- Periodontal surgery can be performed to remove excess gum tissue, especially if you have shorter teeth.
- Orthognathic surgery can help move the maxilla in the correct position.
- Botox is a non-traditional method of correcting a gummy smile for patients with a hypermobile lip. These injections can be a temporary fix.
- Lip-repositioning surgery is another non-traditional option that severs the muscles that elevate the short upper lip.
Treatment options are determined by the cause of your gummy smile. The best way to discover which option is best for you to get the smile you can truly be proud of is to visit your dentist.
Meet Your Dental Team
At Alamo Springs Dental, both of our dental professionals—Dr. Aiyana Anderson and Dr. Michele Moreno—along with the rest of our dental team are focused on helping our patients achieve the dental health and happiness they deserve. This goes hand in hand with boosting patient’s confidence and helping them truly love themselves, starting with a gorgeous, proportional smile. Need help loving your teeth and gums again? Give us a call to schedule an appointment at (210) 346-0967.