Fix a Gummy Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

Fix a Gummy Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry from 608 Family Dental in Sun Prairie, WIA gummy smile shows more gum above the teeth than usual, causing the teeth to appear too short. A cosmetic dentist can correct these smiles, as they are more of an aesthetic issue than a functional one. This article will cover the causes of gummy smiles and how to fix them.

What causes a gummy smile?

The average person shows about one to two millimeters of gum tissue, or “gingiva,” when smiling; a gummy smile, or “excessive gingival display,” is when a smile shows three or more millimeters of the gums. This is sometimes caused by misalignment and malocclusion, like overbites or underbites. In these cases, orthodontic treatment can help. A cosmetic dentist can fix gummy smiles caused by other factors, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Small teeth
  • Improper tooth eruption
  • Short or overactive upper lip
  • Gum disease and infection
  • Hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy)
  • Overgrown upper jaw, or “vertical maxillary excess”
  • Long or enlarged gums, or “gingival hypertrophy”

Gummy smile treatments from a cosmetic dentist

While every smile is beautiful, some people feel more confident after correcting their gummy smiles. Effective correction of the gummy smile will depend on what caused it. If it is a side effect of medication, stopping that medication may be the solution. For most other reasons, patients will need dental treatment. Below are the most common cosmetic dental treatments for excessive gingival display.

Tooth scaling and root planing

For gummy smiles from gum disease and infection, a cosmetic dentist will likely start with a two-part deep cleaning — tooth scaling and root planing. With tooth scaling, the dentist will scale the teeth to remove any tartar and flush away any plaque. The dentist will then move on to root planing: After gently pushing the gums aside, the roots of the teeth will be scaled and smoothed. The smoothing helps the gums reattach. In addition, inflammation in the gums should subside after removing the infection, thereby correcting excessive gingival display.

Dental crowns or veneers

A cosmetic dentist can attach crowns or veneers to the teeth to correct a gummy smile. After shaving down the natural teeth, we will place large crowns or veneers on top. This makes the teeth and gums more proportionate.

Crown-lengthening (gingivectomy)

Crown lengthening, also known as a “gingivectomy,” is the traditional gummy smile treatment. A gingivectomy is a type of gum removal surgery: A cosmetic dentist will remove excess gum tissue, then reshape the gum line. This reveals more of the patient’s natural tooth surface and leaves them with a more even smile.

Gum contouring

Gum contouring is a laser treatment used to move back and reshape the gumline. An alternative to gingivectomy, it is also known as “gum reshaping” or “tissue sculpting.” Cosmetic dentists typically use a local anesthetic to make gum contouring more comfortable for the patient.

Lip repositioning surgery

Short and hyperactive lips can allow too much of the gumline to show through when smiling. Cosmetic dentists may fix both these issues with lip repositioning surgery. A minimally invasive procedure, lip repositioning surgery involves removing a portion of the excess gum tissue.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cosmetic Dentist in Sun Prairie, WI

Learn more about gummy smile correction

Cosmetic dental treatment is an effective way to correct gummy smiles. Let us help you smile with confidence. Contact our team to learn more.

Request an appointment or call 608 Family Dental at 608-713-9418 for an appointment in our Sun Prairie office.

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