Gummy smile treatment is an option to reduce the excessive display of gums when you smile. We usually consider a smile as gummy if there is more than 4mm of gum tissue exposed.
This treatment is for anyone who feels that they show too much gums when they smile. Having too much gums may cause your smile to appear disproportionate. Some patients complain about a ‘Horsey” appearance and the teeth may also appear too short and square – so you can ask for this treatment option if you feel you belong to the above categories. This should be discussed with your dentist and options can be factored into the overall treatment plan.
Balancing out the esthetics of your smile can boost confidence in some people. Gummy smile treatment can lengthen the teeth and reduce the display of gums. This can make your teeth appear whiter as more of your teeth show!
You will first meet for a consult with our team of dentists to give you an idea of what can be done.
It all depends on what the patient wants to achieve. We usually use an instrument to show the patient where we would trim the gums to. We can also “fake” the future length of the teeth by putting tooth coloured material on the gums to allow the patient to visualise how he or she would look with longer teeth and less gums showing.
There are many types of gummy smile treatment, depending on the cause of the excessive gum display.
The most common type of treatments are:
A gingivectomy or gum lift is where the excessive gums are trimmed away using a laser or scalpel. This shortens the height of the gums, creating more symmetry to the gum line and revealing more teeth. However, if there is too much bone underneath the gums, crown lengthening surgery needs to be done. This involves removing both excessive gums and bone from around the teeth to allow more of the teeth to show. In some cases, if you leave the bone there and only gingivectomy is done, the bone will cause the gums to grow back and rebound. So the teeth may shorten again!
If the cause of excessive gum show is an overactive upper lip, then we can do Botulinum toxin injections to the upper lip to prevent it from moving upwards too much when you smile! However, because the effects of botulinum toxin injections do not last forever, maintenance treatments are required.
If your gummy smile is due to a long midface though, then we will discuss “The Esthetic Option” which is a form of dento facial esthetics. During which, orthognathic surgery to change your facial features will be required.