A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, is a condition where excessive gum tissue covers a large portion of the teeth. The condition can be unattractive in social situations.
A “gummy” smile is a term used to describe a smile that reveals too much of the gums when the patient smiles. Patients usually seek treatment for their gummy smile because they are unhappy with the way that their smile looks or because they believe that their smile makes them look older. In some cases, patients may have difficulty speaking properly if the teeth are poorly aligned in the front.
In some patients, the gummy smile is caused by genetics, as the jaws may naturally be set in such a way that results in an unattractive smile. In other cases, the excessive exposure of gum tissue may be due to teeth that are too close together. The teeth may be crowded due to overcrowding in the mouth. In other cases, the smile may be gummy due to gum recession, a condition in which the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth and exposes the root surfaces. This can be caused by aggressive tooth brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush as well as gum disease. Gum recession can also be caused by hormonal changes such as puberty and pregnancy.
Treatment for a gummy smile may include the use of braces to move the teeth into proper alignment. When there is severe crowding, treatment with oral surgery may be necessary to remove some of the excess teeth in order to correct the problem. For patients with mild cases of excessive gum tissue exposure, laser dentistry with the LANAP® protocol may be an option. This is a procedure that uses a specialized laser to gently remove only the excess tissue from around the teeth without harming the surrounding tissues in the process. For more severe cases of gum recession, grafting procedures may be required to rebuild the lost gum tissue around the roots of the teeth. These procedures should be completed before orthodontic treatment is completed so that the gum line will be aligned with the teeth once the braces come off. With all these treatments, an experienced cosmetic dentist can help to ensure that the final results are aesthetically pleasing.
If you have excess gum tissue, laser gum reshaping may be a good treatment option for your dentist. This treatment uses a diode laser and can help remove excess tissue to reveal more of your natural teeth. Some patients may be able to benefit from crown lengthening or tooth reshaping in combination with this procedure. Your dentist can evaluate your smile to determine whether this is a good option for you!
Visit Rosemont Dental Center, 2090 Old Farm Dr #C, Frederick, MD 21702, or contact the Dentist in Frederick, MD, by calling us at (301) 663-1144 to learn more about oral health and stress.