Gummy Smile

How much gum shows when you smile? It is estimated that nearly 7 percent of males and 14 percent of females show too much gum tissue when they smile, as reported by the NYTimes. If you feel like you have a gummy smile, our periodontist in Vero Beach, Florida can evaluate your gums to determine if it needs to be corrected in order to improve your smile.

How Much Gum Tissue is Too Much?

When it comes to determining how much gum tissue is too much when smiling, it’s largely due to the individual’s personal preference. However, there have been studies done to determine what people perceive as too much gum tissue. In a study reported by the NCBI, individuals typically consider 1 to 2mm of gum tissue showing during a smile to be attractive, but smiles become less attractive when 3mm or more of gum tissue is showing. If you feel self-conscious about your smile due to excessive gum tissue, the good news is that it can be corrected by our periodontist.

Causes of Excess Gum Tissue

If you feel like every time you smile, all you see is gum tissue, you may have a gummy smile, which could be due to the improper eruption of your adult teeth, a problem with the upper jaw, facial muscles, or genetics. Common causes for gummy smiles also include:

  • Teeth that are covered by excessive gum tissue due to abnormal eruption.
  • Upper lip rises too high when smiling.
  • Abnormal development of the upper jaw, causing it to protrude too far forward.
  • Teeth that are too small due to excessive wear and tear or genetics.

Treatment Options

When it comes to accurately correcting a gummy smile, a periodontist will first determine why too much of your gum tissue shows when you smile. This may involve taking digital x-rays and even impressions of your teeth and gums in order to determine the position of your teeth and the roots of your teeth.

Possible treatment options include laser surgery to remove excess gum tissue, repositioning of the upper lip via surgery, a recontouring of the gum and bone tissue, or facial surgery. This only needs to be done in cases where the upper jaw developed improperly, which could even lead to also needing braces to reposition the teeth.

Tissue grafting may be another option. If you have a gummy smile due to old age, bad habits, or genetics, tissue grafting can allow a periodontist to cover the root surface to make the tissue appear as though recession has never occurred

How Our Periodontist Corrects Gummy Smiles

Our periodontist in Vero Beach can determine why too much gum tissue shows when you smile and correct the problem so that you can enjoy a beautiful healthy smile. From the impressions gathered from the X-Rays, he will then be able to determine how much of the gum is considered “excess” and which part is still healthy. The reason for the thorough evaluation is because removing healthy gum tissue if it does not need to be removed can disrupt further procedures.

For example, if your teeth are improperly positioned in your mouth, we can refer you to an orthodontist who can provide braces or aligning trays to correct your tooth alignment, rather than removing gum tissue. If your upper jaw protrudes too far forward, we can treat it with maxillofacial surgery, which repositions the bones.

If your gummy smile is due to your upper lip moving too high when you smile, we can perform lip surgery to prevent the lip from moving excessively upward and revealing too much gum tissue. The same procedure can be done if your teeth are too short or worn down, we can increase the length of your teeth with crowns and dental bonding.

Correct Your Gummy Smile At Vero Implants and Periodontics

If you are unhappy with your smile due to excessive gum tissue, you do not have to live with it. Our periodontist in Vero Beach can help you achieve a smile you’ll love. To schedule an appointment with our periodontist in Vero Beach, contact us at 772-569-9700.