If your teeth appear shorter than they actually are because of your gums, you may be experiencing excessive gingival display, or a “gummy smile.” Dr. Jody Harrison is an Asheville, NC periodontist helping patients restore balance to their smile with several different treatments depending on the underlying cause. Learn more about the causes and treatments for a gummy smile with Dr. Harrison.
What Causes A Gummy Smile?
There are several reasons why you may have a gummy smile:
- Upper lip muscles: You may have overactive upper lip muscles that pull your lip up too high when smiling, showing more of your gums underneath.
- Incorrect jaw bone alignment: The jaw bone may extend further than it should, causing the gums to look longer.
- Abnormal tooth development: Teeth may not extend far enough beyond the gum line but are actually the normal length.
How to Treat A Gummy Smile
Treatment for a gummy smile depends on the condition of your teeth and gums and your overall dental health. Dr. Harrison will perform a comprehensive exam and recommend the most appropriate solution for your gummy smile.
- Gingivectomy: In this procedure, your periodontist removes extra gum tissue and reshapes it to expose more of the teeth and enhance the appearance of your smile. During this process, the gums are contoured and reshaped until they reach your desired aesthetic. This treatment is often performed using a dental laser, which helps reduce recovery time, promotes faster healing, and eliminate the need for sutures or stitches.
- Dental Crown Lengthening: In this procedure, your periodontist removes excessive gum tissue to reveal the appropriate amount of tooth enamel.
- Frenectomy: Removing the frenulum may allow the upper lip to drop down, allowing the lip to cover more of the gum tissue. This treatment can improve the appearance of a gummy smile without contouring the gums.
Asheville, NC Cosmetic Dentistry
The right treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis based on an individual evaluation of your smile. Schedule your appointment online or call our office at (828) 255-8100 to start restoring balance to your smile.