Fixing a Gummy Smile

Dentist shows a patient's teeth

If you have excessive gum tissue that shows when you smile, it is considered a gummy smile. It can make your teeth seem very short and your gums look as if they go on forever. Many people are embarrassed by this condition and do whatever they can to avoid smiling in front of others or they put their hand over their mouth to keep from showing the defect. The good news is that there are several ways to fix this condition that will put your teeth and gums back into proportion.

Gingivectomy

This is the least invasive procedure to remove excess gum tissue. The procedure is completed with laser surgery, removing a small amount of gum tissue. This procedure is reserved for those that have a small amount of excessive tissue. Before the gingivectomy is started, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic. Once the excess tissue is removed the area is smoothed and covered with a protective dressing to promote healing and to protect the area.

Crown Lengthening

If your gums are excessively large, you may not be a good candidate for a gingivtectomy. For these patients, crown lengthening is typically suggested. This oral surgery reduces the amount of tissue surrounding your teeth by lifting it off of the bone. Once lifted, the excess tissue is removed and some of the bone may be altered as well. Once the gums are placed back down, they are properly shaped and positioned for a more pleasing smile. Once complete, you have the appearance of longer teeth and shorter gums.

Lip Lowering

Another alternative for a gummy smile is lip lowering. This procedure physically lowers your upper lip to hide some of the gums that are taking over your smile.  The surgery is done by cutting through the gum tissue as well as the mucous membrane and eliminating a large section of tissue. The upper lip is then attached to that area, which will be lower than its previous position, allowing it to cover more gum tissue. The lip is stitched into place, which will allow the muscles to be more restricted, enabling a tighter, less gummy smile.

 

Each of these procedures is an effective way to reduce your gummy smile, enabling you to smile with confidence and ease. It is a great way to enhance a person’s self-esteem and mood and is well worth the effort in order to live a happy life!