What Causes Gummy Smiles And How Can You Treat It? | Dr. Alex Midtown NYC Cosmetic Dentist

What Causes Gummy Smiles And How Can You Treat It?

What Causes Gummy Smiles And How Can You Treat It

Are you a victim of gummy smiles? Having a gummy smile not only bring down your confidence, but it is also a frustrating issue to deal with. A gummy smile, otherwise known as excessive gingival display in the dentist world, is a smile that reveals too much gum tissue above the top teeth, and hence the name of ‘gummy’. You might be surprised that there is actually no fixed definition for what a gummy smile is. But rather, you will know it when you see it. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent getting a gummy smile. But fortunately, there are treatments available for gummy smiles.

Common Causes of Gummy Smiles

There are various different causes for gummy smiles, however, here are some of the most common causes:

  • Teeth that have not erupted properly and remain covered partially by gum tissue which results in teeth that look short
  • A short upper lip
  • Teeth that are small  compared to the gums, which is due to either wear or genetics
  • Gingival hypertrophy, which refer to gums that are enlarged or long
  • Vertical  maxillary excess, which the upper jaw overgrew and results in the gums bulging out

In most cases, the reason behind gummy smiles is genetic, and honestly, there isn’t much you can do to prevent getting a gummy smile. The teeth, jaws, gums, and lips are the key components that dictate your smile aesthetics.

Gummy Smile Treatment

For those who have a gummy smile, don’t worry as there are treatments for your gummy smile. Sometimes, a gummy smile can be fixed with orthodontics alone to shift the bite into the correct position and hence the gums appear to be less prominent. However, this is only workable if the underlying reason is mild and is caused by the jaws or teeth.

For cases that are moderate to severe jaw protrusion, the most recommended procedure would be to undergo an orthognathic surgery, or jaw surgery, together with orthodontic treatment. A certified professional oral surgeon will be recontouring the upper jaw to ensure that it is the correct size, then move it upward into the ideal position for it before securing it with screws and plates. Usually, this requires a hospital stay and anesthesia will be given.

Lip repositioning surgery is a good alternative to jaw surgery that can be considered if the gummy smile is caused by a hyperactive or short upper lip.

For a much affordable option and alternative to surgery, you can consider doing Botox – a newer contender. However, do note that the results are temporary and usually lasts for about three to four months, and will only work when the upper lip is the reason behind your gummy smile. A certified professional doctor will inject your lip with Botox, which will paralyzes your lip muscle and prevents your lip from lifting too high when you smile.

For gummy smile treatment, you should consult an experienced dental surgeon, such as Dr. Alex Rubinov, as these type of treatments needs careful handling to ensure you suffer the minimum amount of distress and pain as possible. Contact us at (718) 253-0800 to schedule an appointment today.