It’s not one of the more well-known cosmetic dentistry issues, but it doesn’t matter how popular a gummy smile is if you are the one dealing with it. Fortunately, your dentist has treatments like porcelain veneers and gum recontouring to address the matter. Keep reading to learn from your cosmetic dentist in San Marcos about what a gummy smile is, what causes it, and potential treatment options.
What Does Having a Gummy Smile Mean?
There is no definition of a gummy smile. This is something that you determine by looking at the ratio between your teeth and soft tissues. However, most people would consider it to be a smile where there is more exposed gum tissue than average. Usually, this is at least 3-4 millimeters. Here are a few things many people use to determine if their smile is gummy or not:
- Jawbone angle
- Lip movement
- Tooth height
- Shape of teeth
What Are Reasons for Developing a Gummy Smile?
Any of the following can contribute to this aesthetic issue:
- Lip size and movement: A smaller upper lip can expose more of your gum tissue than average. This is also the case if your muscles that control the lip are more active.
- Medication: If you’re taking a prescription intended to prevent seizures, lower blood pressure, or suppress the immune system, gingival hyperplasia could be a result.
- Tooth growth: If your teeth grew in too far, your gums may have too. There are many genetic factors that can contribute to the development and growth of your gums and teeth.
How Can I Correct My Gummy Smile?
- Porcelain veneers: If you can attribute your gummy smile to undersized teeth, veneers could be the answer. They can lengthen your teeth to make them more proportional to your gum tissue.
- Orthodontics: Clear aligners can change the positioning of the teeth. If the way your teeth and jaw sit makes your gums more prominent, this can help to reduce that.
- Gum recontouring: Laser dentistry is used to change the shape of your gum line. The soft-tissue laser can safely and gently recontour gums, making teeth appear longer, shapelier, and more attractive.
If you have a gummy smile, you don’t have to settle for it. Talk to your dentist in San Marcos about your options so you can feel confident when you show off your teeth.
About the Author
Dr. Nelson Howard earned his dental doctorate from UCLA, and he went on to be the first dentist in North San Diego County to become an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He’s a founding member of the West Coast Society for Cosmetic Dentistry. If you are interested in correcting your gummy smile, Dr. Howard can help via porcelain veneers or gum recontouring. You can schedule a consultation on his website or by calling (760) 599-6559.