What Is A Gummy Smile?
Do too much of your gums show when you smile? If so, you may have a gummy smile, which occurs when too much of your gum tissue is visible when you smile. Gummy smiles are very common and can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- An upper lip that is too short
- Enlarged gums (gingival hypertrophy)
- Small teeth due to genetics or wear down
- Improperly erupted teeth
- A hyperactive lip that lifts too high when you smile, exposing a lot of gum tissue
Although many patients might dislike the aesthetics of their smile, it is not a medical concern in most cases. However, Dr. Garlock offers minimally invasive and effective treatment options for a gummy smile.
Can My Gummy Smile Be Treated?
Though the best treatment depends on the case, there are various alternatives for treating the appearance of a gummy smile.
The option that many patients first think of is to have gum recession surgery, which involves the removal of extra gum tissue and the reshaping of the gum line. Another viable option is the use of braces and TADs (temporary anchorage devices). With these devices, Dr. Garlock can reduce the amount of gum tissue showing when you smile by helping permanent teeth to properly erupt. This treatment option typically takes between 18 and 20 months.
What is a Gingivectomy?
A gingivectomy is a cosmetic orthodontic treatment that involves the removal of gum tissues from your teeth and gums without surgery. A dental laser is utilized in this technique to swiftly and precisely remove the excessive gum tissue. Patients often tolerate the laser gum contouring surgery quite well and recover quickly. Most patients can resume their routine activities within a few days. In addition to correcting gummy smiles, laser gum contouring can also be used to even out uneven gum lines and improve the overall symmetry of your teeth. The treatment can resolve a variety of conditions, including:
- Impacted Teeth – If your gums have not properly receded, or you have a tooth that is erupting slower than expected, Dr. Garlock can use a laser to remove enough of the tooth’s surface to place a bracket.
- Ideal Bracket Placement – When a tooth can’t fully erupt, it’s impacted. This can happen if the tooth doesn’t have enough room in the mouth, if it’s blocked by another tooth, or if the gum tissue around it is too thick. Impacted teeth can cause pain, infection, and tooth damage. Laser treatment can sometimes help an impacted tooth emerge properly by creating a small incision in the gum tissue so the tooth can be shifted to its proper position.
- Aesthetic Gingival Recontouring – Aesthetic gingival recontouring is a simple way to create a symmetrical and beautiful gum line. Using lasers, this treatment decreases bleeding and tissue damage. Most people experience results immediately after a quick and pain-free recovery.