While perhaps not regarded as a dental ‘problem’ per se, gummy smiles are often complaints that people visit their dentist with because they are related to the mouth. Gummy smiles can be quite distressing for the people involved, so it is important that this is recognised along with the ability to ‘treat it’ ensuring a person restores their healthy looking image and little impact is dented on their confidence.
A gummy smile is exactly what it says on the tin – too much of the gum area is exposed when a person smiles. This usually applies to the upper part of the mouth / teeth. As mentioned above, one of the main problems people have who experience this condition is the negative look it has on their image and therefore confidence and self-esteem can be easily affected.
So what causes it?
There are a number of factors which can lead you to experience a gummy smile. The main ones include:
* Abnormal eruption of your teeth – because of this, the teeth may well be of normal length but they look much shorter due to being covered by too much of the gum area.
* There may be a problem with the muscles in your upper lip – this would have the effect of raising your top lip higher than it should be, thus exposing more of the gum.
* There could be an abnormality in the way the upper jaw bone developed as you were growing up thus leaving more of the gum area to be visually exposed when smiling.
It is relatively obvious to tell if you have a gummy smile but there are certain professional factors which are used to determine whether this is so. These include the facial muscles, or the size and shape of a person’s lips and teeth for example.
What to do / treatments?
If you suspect a gummy smile then the obvious first place to visit is your dentist. S/he will be able to take a comprehensive inspection of your mouth which may include taking impressions of the gums and using x-rays to determine whether there is a problem.
A dentist may refer you to a specialist or consultant to be able to look into your problem further or perhaps by able to deal with the issue in-house. The main remedies for a gummy smile include:
1) Gum reshaping by laser.
This is often the preferred method for mild cases, as it is painless and non-evasive however the results can be limited compared to some of the more complicated methods and the gum can even grow back. The good news is that the success rate is pretty high (especially when used with other methods) and many people find satisfaction from undergoing this.
Most cases can be remedied by using a procedure called invisalign however more advanced options may need jaw surgery or other sophisticated forms of orthodontic treatments.
This may be another route some people go down as by administering anti-aging injections the upper lip relaxes which allows it to fall, thus hiding the gum area when the person smiles.
There are also other treatment options available, but these depend on the individual and each person’s own circumstances, therefore dentist consultation should be your first starting point to remedy a gummy smile problem.
To find out more on gummy smiles follow the link to visit our dedicated page.