Excessive gingival display, otherwise known as a gummy smile, is when your gum tissue overshadows your teeth. While a gummy smile isn’t always a sign of a dental problem, it can affect your self-confidence. So, what causes a gummy smile and can you get rid of it?
Approximately 10%-29% of the population has a gummy smile. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with it. If you live in Summit or Westfield, New Jersey, or the surrounding Union County communities, the expert dental team at Dental Studios offers laser gum sculpting treatment to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums.
Take a few minutes to learn the causes of a gummy smile and how we treat it so you can feel more confident sharing a more balanced smile with the world.
Causes of a gummy smile
A gummy smile is characterized by having more than 2 millimeters of gum tissue visible when you smile. This extra gum tissue can be the result of the abnormal eruption of teeth during childhood. Even though your teeth may be average size, they can appear smaller when partly covered by excessive gum tissue.
Downward movement of your upper teeth or extreme growth in your upper jawbone could also lead to a gummy smile. And, if you have upper lip muscles that are short or overactive, they may expose too much of your gums every time you open your mouth to smile.
Additionally, you may be genetically predisposed to small teeth. Regardless of the cause, there are treatments available to help your teeth look more proportionate with your gumline.
Laser dentistry can remedy a gummy smile
First and foremost, when you come to Dental Studios for an evaluation, we determine the underlying cause of your gummy smile so we can customize a treatment for you. For many patients, laser dentistry is a relatively quick, effective way to reshape your gums and allow your teeth to appear more prominent than the pink gum tissue that surrounds them.
During a laser gum reshaping and contouring treatment, your skilled Dental Studios dentist uses a soft tissue laser to remove excess gum tissue. He also recontours your gum tissue so the crowns of your teeth appear longer and less hidden by your gums. The laser seals your delicate gum tissue to create the ideal shape and prevent bleeding.
There’s little pain and discomfort associated with laser gum reshaping, as we apply a mild local anesthetic to numb your gums before the procedure. Afterward, you should practice good oral hygiene techniques of brushing and flossing. We may also recommend a gentle mouthwash to support gum health.
Orthodontics or surgery
In some cases, you may need braces to move your teeth into a better position so less gum tissue is exposed. Or surgical treatment may be necessary to reposition your lip or jawbone. The team at Dental Studios may refer you to a specialist if your case is more complex than those we treat with laser gum sculpting.
If you’re bothered by a gummy smile, give us a call to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations in Summit or Westfield. You can also book the next available appointment online at either of our dental offices.