A gummy smile is a smile that exposes far more gum tissue than is usual. While many people tend to expose a small portion of the gums while smiling, not every case is labeled a gummy smile.
There are various causes that can lead to a gummy smile, but there are several solutions for it. Although it is not a medical urgency, it can be a cause of low self-esteem for many.
What Is A Gummy Smile?
Having the perfect smile is all about proportions. So in the book of aesthetic dentistry, a gummy smile is a smile that reveals beyond 4 mm of the gum tissue.
Exceeding this limit will make your smile look noticeably gummy. The perfect ratio would be 2 mm of gum tissue showing when smiling.
What Causes A Gummy Smile?
Several conditions can make your smile gummy and more often than not it’s difficult to manage. Here are some of main causes for a gummy smile.
1- Overgrowth of Gum Tissue
This tops the list as the most prevalent cause of a gummy smile. In some individuals, the gum tissue can grow beyond normal. As a result, the tissue covers a larger portion of the teeth making your teeth look smaller and your gums bulge. So when you smile, a larger area of the gums appears.
Many factors can trigger overgrowth of gum tissue. Genetics is a possibility and so are information and side effects to medications.
2- Hyperactive Lip Muscle
A hyperactive lip muscle is another cause of a gummy smile. The lip muscle is a muscle that moves the area between the nose and the lips.
When this muscle is hyperactive, it raises the lips a little higher than is usual. As a result, it reveals a great portion of your gum tissue when smiling. The cause for this is purely genetics but you can treat it at Dentakay.
3- The Anatomy of Your Jaw
The last possible cause for a gummy smile is the way your jaw is shaped. Irregular alignments for instance, if your upper jaw is very far upfront, it will bring attention to your gums making smile gummy.
What Are Your Treatment Options for a Gummy Smile?
The field of dentistry that deals with reducing gum exposure when smiling or the overall gum appearance is gingival esthetics.
There are 3 different treatments for a gummy smile. Typically at Dentakay, before treatment with a gummy smile, our dentists will evaluate your case to find the underlying cause for your gummy smile. The examination may include x-rays as well if your case is a bit complex.
1- Gummy Smile Botox Injections
Botox injections are suitable in the case of hyperactive lip muscle. Because Botox is a temporary paralyzing agent, it prevents the hyperactive lip muscle from exposing gum tissue beyond normal. This treatment isn’t permanent because Botox naturally fades in 4 to 6 months. So if you don’t want a gummy smile, repeat treatment twice annually at least.
2- Laser Gum Sculpting
Laser gun sculpting also goes by the name of gum contouring and is a non-surgical treatment to remove excess gum tissue. Hence why many people prefer this approach to surgery because it is not invasive.
This treatment works under local anesthesia where your dentist uses laser to remove the excess gum tissue. To seal the changes, your dentist contours the gum line for a natural aesthetic result.
This treatment is most suitable for cases of gum tissue over growth. It’s a procedure with no downtime but you will need to eat soft food that are neither hot or cold during recovery.
3- Scaling & Root Planning
Scaling and root planning (SRP) is a treatment that targets gummy smile cases caused by infection or inflammation. SRP is a two-step deep cleaning procedure to tackle gum disease.
The first step includes scaling which removes tartar and plaque build-up around the gum line. Following this you have root planning where your dentists smooths out the roots to properly assist your gums reattach to your teeth.
SRP requires local anesthesia as well as multiple visits to complete. Although for some people a single visit can be sufficient.
Celebrities With Gummy Smiles
Having a gummy smile is a very common thing. Many celebrities have had it at least for the beginning of their career before resorting to cosmetic dentistry to fix the issue.
1- Halsey Gummy Smile
Old photos of pop icon Halsey show that the star has had a gummy smile in the past. From the pictures it looks like her gummy smile stems from a hyperactive lip muscle.
2- Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani is among the celebrities with a very noticeable gummy smile. The small size of her teeth indicate overgrowth of gum tissue is the source of her gummy smile. But she seems to have gotten gum contouring to correct the proportions of her smile. Gwen Stefani has also used braces to give her smile a makeover.
3- Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman’s smile was gummy possibly due to gum tissue overgrowth. Recent pictures of the talented actress indicate that she has opted for aesthetic dentistry to fix this issue.
We’re assuming she’s opted for gum contouring to fix her gingival smile and veneers to correct the shape of her teeth.
Having a gummy smile isn’t an urgent situation, but it is still a cause of concern for many. At Dentakay, we’re the only dental clinic to be a member of The Slow Dentistry Academy, an organization that increases the quality of treatment for the patient. We host some of Turkey’s most seasoned and skilled doctors in gingival aesthetics to give your smile what it needs.
To learn more about gingival smile treatments, contact our dental consultants in a free online consultation.