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Is your smile bothering you, or more specifically, is it showing a little too much gum? You are not alone. A gummy smile can make you feel extremely self-conscious as it’s one of the first things people notice. Experts estimate that around 14% of women and 7% of men experience an inordinate gingival display, commonly known as a gummy smile.

What is a Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile doesn’t have a strict definition; it’s largely based on perception and can vary from person to person. Generally, a smile is considered gummy when four millimeters or more of gum tissue is exposed. If you feel your smile shows too much gum, know that it’s a common concern.

Causes of a Gummy Smile

There are several reasons why your smile might show excessive gum:

  • Partially Buried Teeth: Teeth that look short because they are partly covered by gum tissue.
  • Small Teeth: Teeth that appear small in comparison to the gums, often due to genetics or wear.
  • Short or hypermobile Upper Lip: A shorter upper lip can make more of your gums visible when you smile.
  • Vertical Maxillary Excess: An overgrowth of the upper jaw that causes the gums to protrude.

How to Diagnose a Gummy Smile

To properly diagnose a gummy smile, a visit to your nearest dental clinic is essential. Here’s what you can expect during your appointment:

  1. Medical History Review: Your best orthodontist will review your medical history and note any past dental issues.
  2. Records and Photos: Intra-oral and facial photos, as well as x-rays, will be taken.
  3. Assessment: Your teeth, gums, and overall facial structure will be assessed to determine the cause and extent of the gummy smile.

Treatment Options for a Gummy Smile

The best treatment for a gummy smile depends on its cause. Early detection often provides more treatment options. Here are some solutions:

  1. Orthodontic Treatment: If the gummy smile is caused by orthodontic issues such as a bad bite or minor jaw problems, braces or Invisalign can help correct the alignment of your teeth and improve the appearance of your gums.
  2. Gingivectomy: This crown-lengthening procedure involves removing excess gum tissue to expose more of your natural tooth, balancing the appearance of your teeth and gums.
  3. Crown-Lengthening Surgery: If your teeth haven’t fully erupted, this procedure removes gum tissue and/or bone to expose more of the tooth, allowing the gums to reposition themselves.
  4. Laser Gum Contouring: Similar to a gingivectomy, this minimally invasive procedure uses a laser to reshape the gums and adjust the gum line for a more balanced smile.
  5. Botox: Botulinum toxin is considered a minimally invasive approach for the treatment of gummy smiles particularly due to an over active upper lip muscle. The most common limitation of this procedure is the temporary duration of Botox, which ranges from four to six months; thus, re-injection of botulinum toxin is usually needed.

Regain Your Confidence with Broadbeach Orthodontics

Reading this should bring you comfort, knowing that you don’t have to live with a gummy smile. At Broadbeach Orthodontics, we offer various treatment options to help you achieve the smile you’ll love. If you’re interested in addressing your gummy smile, contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about the best treatment plan for your needs.

Visit Broadbeach Orthodontics and let us help you smile with confidence!

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