If you think your teeth look small or too much of your gums show when you smile, you most likely have a “gummy” smile. This type of smile is characterized by an improper tooth-to-gum ratio that leaves many patients feeling embarrassed and self-conscious. Thankfully, there are many ways your dentist can treat your gummy smile. Once he or she has a proper diagnosis of the root cause, they can provide personalized treatment to improve your smile’s appearance. The three main treatments include:
- Crown Lengthening
Crown lengthening or gingivoplasty or gum lift is a cosmetic treatment whereby your dentist trims or reshapes the gum tissue to arch more aesthetically over each tooth. This procedure can even out the gum line and make the gums appear more natural in relation to your teeth. This is a surgical procedure, so you will need to recover for a few days as your gum tissues heal.
Sometimes a gummy smile can be treated with BOTOX, which helps less of your gums show when you smile. BOTOX when injected into facial muscles, such as the lips, creates a temporary paralysis of the muscles. When you smile, your lips won’t be able to move as far, effectively hiding a larger portion of your gums. Though not permanent, this solution is fast and easy.
- Lip Augmentation
Another treatment option for a gummy smile, especially if lips are the cause, is a surgery called lip augmentation. During this procedure, a small portion of the connective tissue from underneath the upper lip is removed. This will prevent the upper lip from lifting too high whenever you smile.
A gummy smile can also be caused by crooked teeth. Bringing teeth into the proper position in your mouth and with each other can treat excess gum tissue. Both traditional braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign® are effective at treating a gummy smile, in addition to straightening teeth.
Schedule Your Consultation
Interested in learning more about your options for correcting a gummy smile? Reach out to your local dentists, Dr. Dan Shaer, Dr. Shawn Nguyen, Dr. Alice Reina Fukui, and in our office in Thousand Oaks, CA to schedule your first appointment with us today!