At the holiday party this year, after gifts are exchanged and dinner is enjoyed, all the partygoers gather for a group photo. Are you able to flash a confident and beautiful smile? If you are worried that the appearance of your gums will overshadow your teeth, you may feel reluctant to smile fully for the camera. Fortunately, a “gummy smile”, or excessive gingival display, can be treated with modern cosmetic dentistry. Here is everything you need to know about gum recontouring in Potomac and other treatment options for gummy smiles.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
A person’s “smile line” is determined by several factors, including the shape and size of the lips, the facial muscles, the shape and size of teeth, and gum tissue. A gummy smile can be caused by:
- The abnormal eruption of teeth, which may appear unusually short when covered by excessive gum tissue even though they may actually be the proper length.
- A hyperactive lip muscle can cause the upper lip to rise higher than normal, exposing more gum tissue when a person smiles.
- The way the upper jaw bone develops can also cause the appearance of a gummy smile. For example, an excessive bulging protrusion of the upper jaw within the gum tissue would likely result in a gummy smile.
Gummy Smile: Aesthetic Problem, or More?
Many people who feel uncomfortable about the amount of gum tissue they display when smiling are primarily concerned with the aesthetics of their smile. However, a gummy smile may also indicate more serious underlying dental conditions.
For instance, the way a person’s teeth erupt and jaw develops can sometimes result in a gummy smile. These factors can also contribute to an uncomfortable or improper bite that can have a negative impact on a person’s long-term oral health.
What Treatment Options are Available?
If you feel you have a gummy smile and want to know what treatment options are available, have a conversation with your dentist. Depending on the particulars of your smile, he or she may recommend gum recontouring – cutting away excess gum tissue to improve the appearance of your smile. In many cases of excessive gingival display, recontouring is an effective means of straightening the gumline and making teeth look fuller and more uniform.
Other treatment options for correcting gummy smiles include:
- Surgical lip repositioning
- Traditional braces to reposition teeth
- Maxillofacial surgery to reposition the bone
Thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry, no one should have to feel insecure about the appearance of their smile. If you want to see more teeth and less gums when you smile, contact a cosmetic dentist in Potomac today.
About the Author
Recognized as one of “America’s Top Dentists” in cosmetic and implant dentistry by the Consumer Research Council of America, Dr. Sam Osseiran has the knowledge and expertise to transform the appearance of almost any smile. Patients interested in learning more about the treatment options for gummy smiles can contact Dr. Osseiran via his website or by calling the office – which is open Monday through Saturday – at the following number: 703-288-4700.