What is a Gummy Smile?
The definition of a gummy smile depends on aesthetics and perception. But the underlying concept of a gummy smile is when the teeth and the gum tissue of the upper jaw are not in harmony. People with gummy smiles often feel reluctant to smile and can make a person self-conscious. Most people are unaware, but gummy smiles are not a big deal and can be fixed in various ways.
What causes a Gummy Smile?
The secret to an aesthetically pleasing smile is the relations between the teeth, gum, and lips or jaw bone.
- A gummy smile can be caused if the teeth have erupted improperly and remain partially covered in gum tissue.
- It can be caused due to something called gingival hypertrophy, where the gums are longer and more in ratio to the teeth.
- A hyperactive upper lip that behaves normally when the face is resting but it lifts too high when smiling thereby exposing more of gum tissue.
- Bulging of the gums due to the overgrowth of the upper jaw can cause a gummy smile.
Surgical treatments for a Gummy Smile
- Surgically Sculpting the gum tissue and bone. (Gingival Sculpting) – This procedure is done for patients with gingival hypertrophy condition where the gums are more in ratio.
- Surgically repositioning the lip – This procedure is done for patients with the hyperactive upper lip.
- Repositioning of the bone by maxillofacial surgery – This procedure is done where the patients’ gums and lips are normal but there is a primary abnormality in the jaw.
Gingival Sculpting or Gingival Contouring is the process of reshaping the gum tissue around your teeth. This process is usually performed by periodontists and cosmetic dentists. This in-office procedure takes about one hour and is virtually painless due to the advanced sedation options available. Discomfort to some extent will be experienced but it usually subsides within a few hours.
Surgical Repositioning of the lip
Surgical repositioning of the lip is an aesthetic corrective surgery that involves removing a flap in the mucogingival region. This surgery is aimed at reducing the hyperactivity of the lip muscle.
Most maxillofacial surgeries are full-blown surgeries and are performed by expert maxillofacial surgeons who know the nuances of cosmetic surgery. This surgery is performed in the event when problems of the jaw cannot be resolved by orthodontic treatment alone. Most of these surgeries are longer surgical procedures and they usually take place in a hospital where the patient is administered general anesthesia. In this surgery, the bone above the teeth of the upper jaw is cut and is repositioned to fit properly with the lower teeth.