Gum Lifts for Gummy Smile
Improving a Gummy Smile and “Gum Lifts”
Is your smile more red than white? Several different factors, including extraordinarily large gums or short teeth, can give your mouth this imbalanced, “gummy” appearance. Even if your teeth are normally sized, large gums can make them look strangely small by comparison. This excess gum tissue can also make your oral health more challenging to manage. Fortunately, there are several periodontal options that can give you a gum surgery or brand Gum Lift Wheaton new smile.
Causes of “Gummy Smiles”
The causes of gummy smiles are well known to dental professionals, with the precise origin varying from individual to individual. Though there are always a few unusual corner cases, the following factors account for the vast majority of smiles with excessive gum surface visible:
- Inadequate normal gum recession, a.k.a. altered passive eruption. This condition occurs when the teeth erupt in childhood (that is, grow out of the gums). Normally, the gums recede towards the roots, halting at the boundary of the enamel. In a minority of cases, however, they do not fully recede. The gums end up covering part of the teeth and thus make them look short.
- Irritation from braces. If the patient using orthodontic treatment, or braces, experiences gum irritation, this can cause the gums to swell. The swollen tissue then pushes down over the teeth, partially hiding them and, once again, making them look small and short. This condition is, naturally, more temporary than many of the others discussed here, since removal of the source of irritation usually causes the swelling to go down.
- Medication. Several medications are confirmed to include gum tissue overgrowth (hyperplasia) among their side effects, including Dylantin and cyclosporine. Though this side effect occurs in a minority of cases, it still has the effect of making the smile gummy.
- High lip lines. The natural shape of an individual’s mouth can sometimes bare more than the average amount of gum tissue when smiling. This can sometimes be caused by unusually strong facial muscles that elevate the lip and can be alleviated by using Botox to weaken the effect of the lip elevator muscles.
- Mouth breathing. Nasal or adenoid problems may prompt a person to breathe through their mouth, if they cause restricted airflow through the nostrils. The nasal passages need not be blocked – even a slight constriction can prompt mouth breathing as the body subconsciously “defaults” to the method that gives it more air. Unfortunately, this dries out the gum tissues, potentially leading to gum disease and/or Guovergrowth.
- Attrition. Attrition is a cause of gummy smiles, too, and occurs when the teeth have been worn away and are shorter than they should be. A frequent cause of dental attrition is bruxism, when people grind and gnash their teeth in their sleep during the delta phase, usually in response to daytime stress.
Solutions for the Gummy Smile
Depending on the reason for a gummy smile, a plan of treatment can usually be devised to lessen the amount of gums that show and give you a more normal-looking smile. The exact treatment is best determined on a case by case basis, but the following are the most common methods and work for most people:
- Tooth lengthening surgery. This procedure is used when attrition has occurred, and the teeth have actually been ground away, rather than the gums being abnormally large. Several methods are usually combined, including lengthening surgery and the addition of porcelain caps or crowns to bring the teeth back to their original length.
- Crown lengthening. This is the dental equivalent of trimming cuticles, and, when carried out by a skilled cosmetic dentist, reveals more of your teeth while reducing the visible amount of gum tissue. Other names for this procedure include “gum lift” or “gum re-contouring.” Both gum tissue and bone may be excised from around the teeth to give them a longer look. Sometimes, crown lengthening is also used to expose enough of a badly decayed tooth to make restorative surgery possible.
- Laser gum surgery. Quickest, most comfortable, and fastest healing of all gum reduction options, laser gum surgery is a recent method that makes use of safe and effective modern technology. Pain, bleeding, and swelling are kept to a minimum and recovery time is usually very fast. We prefer to use advanced diode lasers for the majority of cases, to reshape excessive gum tissue fast and with minimal pain.
- Botox. Non-surgical cures for gummy smiles include Botox, which is useful in those cases where an extraordinarily wide expanse of gum is exposed by the patient’s natural lip formation. Botox weakens the muscles that raise the lips, so that they do not draw back as far over the gums. This procedure must be repeated at intervals, since Botox wears off after a time. However, it is fast and easy, and thus not too inconvenient. Dr. Gibbs at SmileGlenEllyn Dentistry is a mentor at the American Academy of Facial Esthetics and is experienced with using Botox both cosmetically and therapeutically.
Examples of “Gummy Smile” Gum Lifts