What Is a Gummy Smile
A Gummy smile in terms refers to a condition when there’s an excessive display of gums (gingival) while smiling. Normally 2/3rd to 3/4th of the upper teeth should be visible while smiling and therefore the rest should be covered by the upper lip. Just in case the gum show is more ( 2 to 3 mm) while speaking or smiling it gives an unaesthetic appearance.
Usually, patients who visit Therapeuo Clinic for gummy smile treatment are concerned about their smile looking unpleasant or less attractive. Mostly we seek patients after treatment to get their perfect smile.
Other Cosmetic Dental Treatment options for an ideal smile include
- Teeth Veneers, Cosmetic Bonding
- Teeth Whitening
- Gum Depigmentation
There is no consensus as to how much gingiva will display when smiling is considered gummy. A distillation of varied studies shows that gums that display greater than 2 millimeters academically is considered to be gummy.
Mostly the gummy smile is merely an aesthetic concern but in some cases, it can affect the teeth and gum health. read also about : Micro Forceps
What Causes A Gummy Smile
There are many reasons for a gummy smile, and for every one there is a different treatment modality.
The Height, Shape, and Size of theTeeth
The Teeth may appear short because either they need not have erupted properly and remain partially covered by gum tissue. The Teeth are small as compared to the gums due to wear attrition or genetically small teeth
Too Short Upper Lip
The average length of the upper lip and the philtrum is about 20 to 24 millimeters and the average movement between a lip at rest and a lip at a smile is 6 to 8 millimeters
When the upper lip is normal long at rest but lifts too high when smiling displaying a lot of gum tissue is called Hypermobile Lips
Gum hypertrophy or enlargement can occur thanks to several reasons such as hormonal changes in pregnancy or puberty, use of certain medications like phenytoin or cyclosporine, certain gum tumors, or bony tumors arising from jaw bone which may , in turn, show up excess gum tissue.
In over eruption of the maxillary anterior a gummy smile is caused by excessive vertical growth of the maxillary anterior Dental alveolar complex.
If the person has the habit of breathing from the mouth thanks to enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or the other breathing issues they usually present with an open mouth and inflamed gums and cause gums to show up and lead to a gummy smile
The use of certain medicines such as Phenytoin to treat epilepsy, Cyclosporine for immunosuppressants, or some anti-hypertensive drugs can cause gum enlargement and excessive display of gums
How does one Fix A Gummy Smile
Treatment of Gummy Smile is predicated on its cause.
Gummy smile correction are often done by
- Gum Surgery ( Crown Lengthening )
- Lip Lengthening
- Orthodontic Treatment
- Botox injections for upper lip
- Lip Fillers
Gum Surgery / Crown lengthening
Typically the procedure that we do most of the time is what’s called crown Lengthening where we actually sculpt or reshape the gum tissue to form those teeth a little bit longer and more attractive.
At Therapeuo Clinic we use Dental Laser for Gum Contouring because it gives bloodless and precise and painless results
Sometimes the bone round the teeth needs to be reshaped as well.
So we reshape the gum, sometimes we reshape the bone to offer the patient the look that they want and have a normal-looking smile with teeth and proportion to their face.
Another advantage of gum contouring is that it eliminates the deep gum pockets and prevents recurrent gum infections.
The results of gum contouring are permanent and long-lasting and therefore the procedure is very safe.
The cost for gum contouring for gummy smile correction may range from 7000 INR to 15000 INR.
Lip Lowering/ Lip Lengthening
Another procedure that we do is named lip lowering and we actually change the position of lips with teeth.
The procedure is really done where the teeth are normal length so we really don’t have to do anything to the teeth
So we perform a lip repositioning where we lower the lip by removing an element of connective tissue from inside of the lip, so when the patient smiles the lip doesn’t pull up the maximum amount .
Another benefit thereto is that the lip becomes fuller and kind of richer looking.
The procedure is safe and typically done under Local Anesthesia. The results are usually long-lasting but some relapse may occur after few years
Botox Injections on upper lip muscles
There is a third option: Botox ( botulinum toxin ) to numb the muscles that retract the upper lip.
The advantage of this procedure is that no surgery is involved.
The disadvantage is that the results aren’t permanent and have to be done very frequently (4 to 6 months) to keep that effect. Also, your smile may change just in case it is overused.
Gummy Smile Braces / treatment
If upper front teeth have erupted more or forward, we’ve several options to correct them either by braces or Invisalign treatment.
Orthodontic treatment pulls the teeth behind and repositions the lip in its proper position which drapes the gum tissue and corrects your smile.