A gummy smile is known as ‘excessive gingival display’ in medical literature.
If someone smiles and you see more of their gum tissue than is normal, they have a gummy smile. Although the condition is quite common, people still find it embarrassing. This is because it affects their aesthetic.
According to the New York Times, this condition is far more common among women than it is in men. In fact, for every 14% of women who deal with a gummy smile, only 7% men go through the same thing.
We are here to tell you that a gummy smile is no reason to stop posing for the camera.
What causes a gummy smile?
Your smile will appear gummy if the gums are overgrown or the teeth are small in size.
Your teeth could be small because of two main reasons—genetics and wear and tear. Excessive erosion and wear take place after years of improper chewing, biting and diet habits. Other than that, if your teeth erupt improperly, they might not be properly covered by the gums.
Gums can also protrude if the upper lip is hyperactive. This means that the lip retracts too much when you smile, overexposing the gums.
What are the treatment options?
If you are dealing with an overactive upper lip, surgery is the only solution. The most common treatment option, in this case, is lip repositioning surgery. In this procedure, the muscles in your upper lip are restricted so they don’t retract too much. Some part of the lip muscle is cut and stitched near the teeth so the gingival display reduces.
On the other hand, if something is wrong with the tooth size and structure, only a practicing dentist can help you. Your cosmetic dentist will most likely suggest veneers or crowns. Both of these help fix the tooth-to-gum ratio if the teeth are unusually short.
In certain cases, your periodontist might even suggest getting a minor gum surgery done. This is a simple process known as gingivectomy. The periodontist will remove extra gum tissue and will reshape the remaining to give it a smoother look. If you want to enhance your smile aesthetics without getting under the knife, you can also opt for laser gum contouring. This is a comparatively non-invasive procedure that is used to remove extra gum tissue without cutting or stitching.
Only a dentist will be able to recommend the course of action that suits your needs the best. If you’re based in Bethesda MD, get in touch with Bethesda Dental Health.