Some people are nervous to show their smile because they have gums that override their normal tooth enamel. This is known as a gummy smile and dentists such as Dr. Grabiak are able to help correct this problem. Gummy smiles can be caused by a variety of different things. Some patients are simply prone to overgrown gums or have a high lip line due to their genetics. Other men and women find their gums become overgrown due to orthodontic treatment, mouth-breathing, or certain medications. Whatever the cause, there are ways to reduce your gum line and show more of your bright white smile.
Compared to other dental work that may involve expensive crowns, reconstructions or veneers, correction of a gummy smile is much less expensive and takes far less time.
Two types of procedures available to treat gummy smiles are gingivectomy and flap surgery. Gingivectomy is simply the excision of excess gum tissue along the tooth line. This type of gummy smile surgery is the least invasive and most popular. However, it may not be the right surgery for you if the gum tissue is unhealthy or infected. Flap surgery must be performed when gummy smiles require bone removal. This may be necessary if teeth are unnaturally short or have been worn down. Flap surgery is much more invasive than gingivectomy and can result in more pain and longer healing time. However, the results are just as dramatic and long-lasting.
While discussing this type of gummy smile correction with your dentist or periodontist they will determine the correct amount of gum tissue to remove. Visual inspection of the exposed part of the tooth enamel will help the dentist or periodontist decide how much tissue to remove. Patients with large enamel crowns will usually get the minimally invasive gingivectomy, while patients with naturally small or worn down crowns will require more invasive surgery. If your teeth are naturally small, you may also require facings or crowns to be created and fastened on to the tooth surface. There is a middle-ground compromise in which the less invasive gingivectomy is used on very small teeth, but the results are usually less dramatic.