Periodontists do not only treat medical issues. We can help you with cosmetic procedures as well. For example, many people are unhappy with their smiles because it appears too gummy or it seems as though their teeth are shorter than normal. Gummy smiles are quite common and we are trained to treat them, allowing for a more natural full-toothed smile.
There are a few reasons why you may have a gummy smile.
- The muscle that controls the upper lip may contract too much so that when you smile your gum tissue becomes overexposed.
- An abnormal eruption of teeth. Even though your teeth may be of average length, they could appear shorter since it is enveloped in excessive gum tissue.
- A gummy smile can also be caused by an upper jaw that has developed abnormally. For example, excessive bulging in your jaw can lead to the appearance of a gummy smile.
Your smile should reveal very little gum tissue since your upper lip should contour in a similar fashion to the gum line when smiling. If it reveals way too much your periodontist may choose one of several courses of action such as:
- Laser treatment right there on the spot. This option is only available if your excess gum is minimal. The periodontist will use a carbon dioxide laser with a local anesthetic to remove excess tissue.
- Reposition the upper lip using surgical means – also called hypermobile lip plastic surgery. In this procedure, the periodontist will decrease the pocket between the lip and the gum. This helps to restrain the upper lip’s movement when smiling.
- Your periodontist can also perform a procedure called a crown lengthening. In this procedure, the periodontist removes excess gingival tissue, and if necessary, bone. This allows more of the tooth surface to be visible. This can be performed on one tooth or more if necessary.
Your gummy smile, may not be a life-threatening issue, but if you are self-conscious about it, it may hamper your social life and lower your self esteem. However, this is not a condition that you have to live with. Dr. DeAndrade and Dr. Allen are able to examine you and prescribe the best course of action. Please come in for a consultation, so we can explain why and how we can help you!