Not all dental issues involve teeth. Sometimes, the problem may be with the gums, in particular, the dreaded gummy smile. A gummy smile is also known as excessive gingival display and it is when your smile reveals more gums than teeth, especially under your upper lip.
Those afflicted with a gummy smile are often very self-conscious about flashing their pearly whites. If your smile is a little too gummy for your liking, call Ace Dental for a consultation. Our dentists understand the causes of excessive gingival display and we can offer a fast and painless solution to the problem.
Many people struggle with a gummy smile and the first step is to identify the causes. The most common reasons are genetics, development and, in some cases, inflammation or other medical issues.
Genetics aside, the most common cause of a gummy smile is an overgrowth of the tissue that covers your teeth. This excessive tissue could be the result of inflammation due to an illness or exposure to certain medications.
Your gummy smile could also be the result of a hyperactive lip muscle. With a hyperactive lip muscle, the skin between your nose and upper lip contracts too much when you smile, revealing more gums than teeth. Although this is more of a genetic issue than a medical one, it is still treatable.
Another reason for your gummy smile could be due to your teeth and jawbone not developing correctly. Your upper jaw could stick out more resulting in the much maligned buck tooth.
Like many of the other causes, this dental misalignment is also easily treated.
Ace Dental has a number of options to remedy a gummy smile and to determine the best one, your dentist will first try to uncover the cause of the problem. Most cases of excessive gingival display can be rectified with a crown lengthening procedure. This procedure involves surgically removing the excessive tissue. Before this is done, your dentist will give your teeth and gums a thorough examination to ensure there are no underlying issues beneath the gum surface.
If protruding top teeth or buck teeth, as they are more commonly called, are the problem, braces or dental aligners could be the best way to correct the position of the teeth. Most gummy smiles of this nature are corrected once the teeth and jawline have been correctly realigned. In the case of larger gums and small teeth, veneers may also be a good aesthetic option.
Most procedures to correct gummy smiles can be done in a single visit to the dentist. You may only have one or two teeth where excessive gum tissue is showing, or it could be the entire gum line above your teeth.
A full examination and consultation are needed, with one or more follow-up treatments, depending on what needs to be done. The procedures are relatively painless with the more extreme treatments requiring a local anaesthetic.
With crown lengthening or the surgical removal of excessive gum tissue, you can expect the healing process to last several days and your teeth and gums will be sensitive during this time. You will need to avoid food and beverages that are too hot and definitely stay away from hard or sticky food. Acidic foods may cause irritation so they are best avoided as well.
Following a crown lengthening procedure, you should do your best to maintain a good dental hygiene regime. However, flossing may be painful until your gums have healed completely. A gentle brushing of your teeth is fine and rinsing with a saline solution will aid the healing process.
Provided you exercise a little extra care, your gums should heal within a week or two. Your dentist will give you instructions on the best way to care for your gums following this procedure and answer any questions you have. You can also arrange follow-up consultations so your dentist can check your gums to ensure the procedure was successful and proper healing is taking place.
Once you are satisfied with your new smile, you can enjoy eating, drinking and smiling with ease and confidence.