What Causes a Gummy Smile?
There are three main factors contributing to the appearance of too much gum tissue when you smile. First, teeth in your upper jaw may have not come in normally. Consequently, these teeth may be covered by excessive gum tissue and appear to be too short. In fact, additional tooth structure may be hiding behind your gums.
Another reason is the muscles that control the movement of your upper lip. If they’re hyperactive, then your lip may rise too high when you smile and expose too much gum tissue.
Finally, the growth and development of your upper jawbone can cause a gummy smile. If the bone protrudes underneath your gums, for instance, then this can lead to a gummy smile.
A Balanced Smile
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Ruff looks at your smile line or aesthetic zone to determine the proper balance of your smile. The smile line refers to the teeth that show when you smile. Optimally, your smile line should reveal a minimal amount of gum tissue if any at all. Gum tissue that is visible when you smile should run evenly along your teeth and be in harmony with your upper lip.
Your smile line is also influenced by:
The size and shape of your lips
Size and shape of your teeth
Crown Lengthening to Treat a Gummy Smile
If you have a gummy smile, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Ruff. She will examine your teeth, gums, mouth, and lips. In addition, we may also take digital x-rays to see the bone structure behind your gums. Gathering this information, Dr. Ruff will be able to gauge the extent of your excessive gingival display and recommend treatment.
In many cases, crown lengthening can solve the problem of a gummy smile. During this procedure, Dr. Ruff removes excess gum tissue in order to reveal more of your natural tooth structure. Using either electrosurgery or a traditional scalpel and suture, crown lengthening can be performed on one or several teeth in order to create a more even gum line and more natural looking smile.