I Don’t Like My Gummy Smile: Can You Help?

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I Don’t Like My Gummy Smile: Can You Help?

Smiles are undeniably contagious, and often are the first impression we make on those around us. While having the appearance of too much gum tissue can impact how you feel about your smile, there are ways to correct it.

Excess gum tissue that appears when you smile (medically known as excessive gingival display) is often a normal part of how your gums developed. That’s why it often runs in families. However, having a gummy smile can impact your self-confidence, and cause you to shy away from showing off your sparkling whites.

Fortunately, regardless of the cause, the issue is manageable with the assistance of a dental expert.

Here at Lovely Smiles Orthodontics in Richmond, Texas, Nicole Thompson, DMD, provides top-quality dental care for the entire family. If you have concerns about a gummy smile, Dr. Thompson is happy to discuss some effective ways of addressing it so that you can feel confident about the appearance of your smile. 

Why do I have a gummy smile?

A gummy smile can be caused by a variety of factors; exact cases can differ depending on the cause. Many causes are inherited.

Research conducted a few years ago found that it can be handed down via your genes. Even so, the outcomes vary. One such example is altered passive eruption, in which the gums cover more teeth than usual when they grow in. 

Front teeth can grow too far (dentoalveolar extrusion), and the upper jaw can grow longer than normal (vertical maxillary excess). A gummy smile can also be caused by short upper lips and hypermobile lips (when the lip moves a lot from its resting position during a smile). Medications used to treat seizures, high blood pressure, or that suppress the immune system can all create a gummy smile.

How can I correct my gummy smile?

Because there are many causes for a gummy smile, there are many ways to treat it, including but not limited to:

Gum contouring

Laser gum contouring, (gingivectomy) is one of the most effective ways to reduce excess gum tissue tissue, reshape the gums and improve a gummy smile. To do this, Dr. Thompson removes excess gum tissue using carefully controlled light beams. It’s used for other dental conditions but for a gummy smile, it’s a permanent solution. Once removed, the excess gum won’t grow back.

Surgical lip repositioning

If certain lip issues, such as hypermobile lips, are the cause of a gummy grin, Dr. Thompson may recommend lip repositioning surgery. By removing some of the connective tissue from the bottom of the upper lip, Dr. Thompson can correct the position of your lip.

Orthognathic surgery

Orthognathic surgery may be the most appropriate when a longer upper jaw results in a gummy smile. During this procedure, Dr. Thompson will even out the upper jaw, reducing the appearance of a gummy smile. 

At Lovely Smiles Orthodontics, Dr. Thompson works closely with patients to correct a gummy smile and to provide natural-looking results that will have you flashing your new smile at every chance. To get started, give our office a call at 832-219-7687 and one of our knowledgeable team members will assist you in setting up a dental evaluation with Dr. Thompson.