gummy smile

When you smile, do you feel the appearance of your upper teeth are overshadowed by showing excessive gum? Do you think your teeth look too short compared to the amount of gum displayed when you smile?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you may have a condition that is commonly called a "gummy smile" or excessive gingival display.

When we smile, sometimes our lip raises up, showing the complete length of the tooth and a lot of gum.

Causes of a Gummy Smile

There are several possible causes of gummy smile, including:

  • The muscle that controls the movement of your upper lip could be over active, causing your upper lip to rise up higher than normal. When this occurs, more of your gum tissue is exposed when you smile.
  • Too much gum on show due to abnormal eruption of the teeth. Teeth covered by excessive gum can appear short, even though they may actually be the right length.
  • The way that your upper jaw bone grew and developed could cause the appearance of a gummy smile. For example, if there was an excessive bulging of the top jaw bone under the gum, you would experience an obvious gummy appearance when you smile.

The smile line is the teeth that are showing when you are smiling. It is determined by several factors, including:

  • The shape and size of your lips.
  • Your facial muscles.
  • The shape and size of your teeth.
  • Your gum tissue.

The optimal smile line appearance should reveal the least amount of gum as possible.

However, depending on the factors causing a gummy smile, more serious dental conditions could be present. For example, if you have a gummy smile caused as a result of how the teeth grew and how the jaw developed, you may also have an uncomfortable or improper bite that could ultimately affect your long-term oral health.

A gummy smile can have a negative effect on self-esteem, and can even make some people not want to smile. The good news is that a gummy smile can be corrected through various treatment options.

Treatments depend on the cause of the gummy smile, which can range from mild to severe.

Treatments we offer include:

  • Botulinum toxin injections to relax the lip over the gum so when you speak, laugh and smile the muscle does not have the power to raise up very high. Thus correcting the appearance of too much gum on show.
  • Orthodontic treatment (braces) to move the teeth into a more functional position

Contact us today so we can help you smile with more confidence.


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