When you smile, having too much gum tissue can cause self-confidence issues and prevent you from putting your best smile forward. The good news is that your dentist may be able to treat this condition.
What is a Gummy Smile?
A smile with more than two millimetres of exposed gum normally qualifies as a gummy smile. There can be many reasons for this type of smile, including:
- Short or hyperactive upper lip muscles, which results in the lifting of the lip upwards.
- Unusual or altered eruptions of the tooth or teeth during childhood
- The upper teeth move downward
- Excessive growth of the upper jawbone
Crown lengthening, botulinum toxin (BT) injections, and orthodontic treatment and surgery are the three main treatment options for a gummy smile. Your dentist will go over these options with you and come up with a treatment plan that may include one or more of them, depending on your specific needs.
Crown lengthening involves the removal of some of the gum tissue to expose more of the tooth. Another part of the procedure will involve sculpting the gum line to make it rise higher. A periodontist will usually perform the second stage, sculpting the gum line.
Whether just one part of the procedure or both will be needed depends on each individual patient. Your dental team will discuss your treatment process with you in great detail before getting started to ensure you understand what will happen.
Botulinum Toxin (BT) Injections
It's natural to think of botox injections as a treatment for wrinkles and fine lines, but they can be used for dental treatments as well.
Botox can be used to treat gummy smiles because it can relax overactive upper lip muscles. Treatment usually consists of a series of very small injections spread out over three to six months. After completing this treatment, injections must be repeated every six months to a year.
Orthodontic Treatment or Surgery
If the gummy smile is caused by excessive upper jaw bone growth, orthodontic treatment and surgery may be required. To correct the problem, an orthodontist may use a special appliance to push the teeth upward. They may also collaborate with a team of dental surgeons to surgically move the teeth upwards if necessary.