Do you show a lot of gum tissue when you smile or feel that your smile is "gummy"? Do you put your hand over your mouth when laughing or try not to smile too big to avoid showing your gummy smile? Do you wish there was something you could do to fix your gummy smile? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place for gummy smile correction.
Gummy smiles are classified according to the gummy smile scale. This scale measures the amount of gingival tissue (gum tissue) displayed as a percentage of tooth height. In other words, your gummy smile classification is based on the amount of gum tissue that shows in relation to how much tooth structure is displayed when you smile. Gummy smiles can be mild, moderate, advanced, or severe.
What is a gummy smile?
A "gummy smile" is a condition in which a person shows a larger than average amount of gum tissue when smiling and has a disproportionate gum-to-tooth ratio (teeth to gum ratio). Although a gummy smile is considered a normal variation of human anatomy, many people with gummy smiles suffer from embarrassment, self consciousness, and even a general lack of self esteem. They often dislike their smile and wish there was something they could do to change it. The good news is there is something you can do to fix your gummy smile. At the Kurpis Center for Advanced Dentistry, we can correct your gummy smile with simple periodontal plastic surgery procedures. You will be amazed by the beautiful and natural looking results achieved using these virtually painless surgical treatments.
excessive overgrowth of gum tissue (hyperplasia) due to medications such as Dilantin, Cyclosporine, and numerous calcium channel blockers
excessive overgrowth of gum tissue due to orthodontic treatment
inflammation associated with poor oral hygiene, gum disease or faulty dental restorations
congenital gingival enlargement from hereditary and metabolic disorders
developmental variations of the upper jaw bone (maxilla)
hyperactive upper lip muscle, causing the upper lip to rise up higher than normal when smiling (high lip line)
excessive growth of bone (exostosis) on the outer surface of the maxillary (upper) jaw bone
If you suffer from a gummy smile and are bothered by the way it looks, you don't have to live with it any longer! There are three main treatment options available to correct a gummy smile: gingivectomy, crown lengthening surgery, and lip lowering surgery. The method used to treat your gummy smile will be determined by an experienced surgeon who is familiar with gummy smile correction. The treatment modality used is chosen based on the amount of excess gum tissue displayed when you smile, your underlying skeletal anatomy, and the mobility of your upper lip. Gingivectomy A gingivectomy is a simple surgical procedure used to correct a minor gummy smile. This procedure is used to remove excess gum tissue and to better contour the gum tissue around the teeth. During a gingivectomy, a minimal amount of gum tissue is removed using a dental laser or by a technique called radiosurgery. The procedure is painless, requires no sutures, and the gums heal within two weeks.
Crown lengthening surgery
More advanced gummy smiles require more extensive gum tissue reduction. A procedure known as crown lengthening surgery can be performed to achieve this tissue reduction. Crown lengthening is done under local anesthesia for total patient comfort. During the procedure, the gum tissue is gently lifted off the underlying bone. Soft tissue is removed and some of the underlying bone is modified, and the gum tissue is contoured and placed in a desired new position. The teeth now look longer and the gums less prominent.
Lip Lowering Surgery
Lip lowering surgery is a soft tissue procedure used to reduce gingival display to improve the look of a gummy smile. It is often used when a patient has a hyper-mobile upper lip or a skeletal discrepancy that causes an excessive amount of gum tissue to show when smiling. By surgically lowering the upper lip, less gum tissue shows when smiling, which leads to a more natural and pleasant looking smile. It is far more conservative than orthognathic surgery and can be completed right here in the comfort of our dental office. Lip lowering surgery requires local anesthesia similar to that given to a patient receiving ordinary dental restorations. The surgery consists of making an incision in the gum tissue and mucous membrane above the upper teeth, removing a section of tissue, and re-attaching the upper lip in a lower position so that it covers the gum tissue. Once the upper lip is sutured into its new position, the muscles responsible for pulling the lip high above the gum line during normal smiling will be more restricted. This results in a more pleasant looking smile with less gingival display and a reduction of the gummy smile.