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What's important to know about a gummy smile?

Do you remember how you first met a stranger? Don’t you agree he or she would have seemed more attractive to you if they had a beautiful smile? But what if it looked too ‘gummy’? This is one of the reasons why people turn to periodontists to increase the aesthetics of smiling. If you feel less confident about your gummy smile too, let’s see how we can detect and fix it.

Do I have a gummy smile?

According to statistics, about 10 – 15% of all people on earth have a so-called gingival smile. What does it look like? It’s usually a smile, in which you can see more than two millimeters of the upper gum. Exposure with a smile less than two millimeters of the upper gum is normal. The ideal option is a smile in which the gums are not visible at all, and only the upper incisors are exposed, while the lower front teeth are either not visible at all or are seen quite a bit.

How to fix a gummy smile?

A smile with gums is often a purely aesthetic problem that does not affect the health of the teeth and does not depend on it. However, it’s better to take a consultation to understand what causes your gums to be more visible. When you find out the reasons, the doctor will pick up the appropriate method of correction, and you will be able to choose the time for treatment. Dr. Aalam and Dr.Krivitsky state there are several ways to improve the smile line, depending on each patients’ specific needs, such as:

  • aesthetic crown lengthening
  • surgical lip repositioning
  • non-surgical lip repositioning
  • lip enhancement

Surgical treatment for a gummy smile

As for aesthetic crown lengthening, this type of gummy smile treatment can help if you have excessive gum tissue covering the teeth. The extra tissue makes your teeth look too short and child-like, with an unnatural gingival contour shape. Also, it can negatively impact oral health and increase susceptibility to periodontal infections, which is another reason to consider treatment. While planning the procedure, it’s important to consider:

  • Current and future states of health of periodontal tissues.
  • The proportion of teeth and aesthetics of your smile.
  • The structure of the roots of the tooth and the ratio of the length of the root and crown.
  • Jaw bone сondition.
  • Biological width as the distance from the bottom of the gingival groove to the crest of the teeth.

Therefore, the need for crown lengthening requires a very thorough diagnosis, since a gummy smile treatment should never disrupt the stability of the teeth on which it will be performed. Surgical lip repositioning is another great treatment option to correct a gummy smile. It permanently restores a smile line by repositioning the upper lip to reduce the appearance of the gums. It is a safe and predictable procedure with minimal risk or side effects. This is a simple 15-30 minutes surgical intervention which repositions the upper lip and limits movement of hyperactive lip muscles, so there is less gum exposed when speaking and smiling. Of course, it has no impact on other facial muscles, so you’ll be able to speak and express all your emotions with no ease.

Non-surgical treatment of gummy smile

If you are thinking about minimally-invasive surgical alternatives, non-surgical lip repositioning is for you. This simple treatment utilizes botox to correct the appearance of a gummy smile. This treatment targets the levator muscles, the muscles that control the movement of the upper lip, in the nasolabial fold area. Botox is injected into these muscles to restrict movement. Botox overlaps the sensitivity of the muscles to nerve impulses and as a result, the upper lip ceases to rise, reducing gum exposure. This technique is simple and painless, and can be a good choice to correct your gummy smile. The disadvantage of non-surgical lip repositioning is that Botox acts temporarily and you will need to repeat the procedure after 6 months. If you’d like to get a permanent result, take a closer look at the surgical lip repositioning we mentioned above. One of the widespread fears about Botox usage is that the face will look like a mask after injections. The truth is that it’s not necessary to apply a significant amount of Botox to achieve a good correction effect. Experts accomplish the desired result, using only 8-15 units of the remedy. This amount cannot negatively impact facial expressions, especially when applied correctly by a doctor. Further, injections are usually made with very thin needles so you won’t feel pain, and there will be no traces on the skin after the procedure. One more solution for correcting a gummy smile without surgery is through lip enhancement. This method allows correcting a smile by using dermal fillers in the upper lip. Dermal fillers are injected into the upper lip, to elongate the lip and cover the exposed gum. This will have an effect not only for gums covering but will also help to increase the thickness and improve the shape of your lips. If you’d like to add volume and plumpness, dermal fillers can also work to achieve this. Do you have extra questions? Maybe, you’d like to get a doctor’s feedback on your particular case? Contact us today and we’d be happy to get acquainted and help you smile bright!