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What Causes a Gummy Smile?

September 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drhoward @ 3:15 am

Are you happy with the way your smile looks? It is estimated that about 10 percent of young adults believe their smile appears to be too “gummy” and feel self-conscious when showing their teeth. There are many reasons why this occurs, but you don’t always have to settle for it. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of a gummy smile in San Marcos and what your cosmetic dentist can do to help.

What Is a Gummy Smile?

There isn’t an exact definition of a gummy smile. It is more so determined by just looking at someone’s mouth and judging the gum-to-teeth proportion for yourself. Most of the time, a gummy smile means having more exposed gum tissue than the average person. Three to four millimeters of exposed gum tissue is generally considered disproportionate, but your perception can be determined by the following:

  • Height of the teeth
  • Shape of the teeth
  • Movement of the lips
  • Angle of the jawbone

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

There are numerous reasons people end up with this cosmetic “issue.” Here are the most common:

  • Tooth Growth: Everyone’s permanent teeth grow a bit differently. If your gums are covering more of your teeth’s surface, this is known as “altered passive eruption.” If your teeth grew in too far, your gums may have too. There are all sorts of genetic conditions that can contribute to the development and growth of both your gums and teeth.
  • Medication: Certain prescription medicines – especially those intended to prevent seizures, lower blood pressure, and suppress the immune system – can cause gingival hyperplasia. This is the abnormal growth of excessive gum tissue.
  • Lip size: If you have a relatively small upper lip, more of your gum tissue may be exposed when you speak, laugh, or smile.

How Can a Gummy Smile Be Treated?

Gummy smiles aren’t usually an oral health problem, but they can still be treated if you’re unhappy with your appearance. If it is a result of undersized teeth, you could opt for porcelain veneers to give them a longer, more uniform appearance. Lumineers are also an option and are not a permanent commitment like veneers.

There is at least a chance that a gummy smile in San Marcos could lead to periodontal disease. If you suspect you could be at risk in this regard, it’s important to talk to your dentist. If needed, they offer periodontal therapy. Some dentists also offer gum recontouring, also known as crown lengthening.

If you don’t like the appearance of your smile because it looks gummy, talk to your dentist. They can help you create a cosmetic dental treatment plan that works best for you.

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). With more than three decades of experience, Dr. Howard has completed thousands of hours of continuing education to stay current with techniques and technology. If you are interested in treating your gummy smile, he offers gum recontouring or periodontal therapy. To learn more, schedule a consultation on his website or call (760) 599-6559.

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