Four Common Causes of a Gummy Smile

by | Jan 17, 2022

Looking and feeling your very best often starts with maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile. One of the oral cosmetic issues that commonly infringes on this goal is a gummy smile. Approximately 10% of individuals between the ages of 20 to 30 struggling with a gummy smile. There are a variety of causes of a gummy smile to be aware of. Fortunately, there are also treatment options, as we’ll explore later.

What Is A Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile is when there is an excess of gum tissue covering teeth, making the teeth look too small in relation to the gums. This is often referred to as gingival overgrowth. Generally, classifying a gummy smile is subjective, depending on someone’s personal preference and desired gum length.

Although a gummy smile is not typically a dangerous oral health condition, it can most definitely impact your confidence.

What Are The Causes of Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile can be attributed to a variety of both genetic and lifestyle causes. Let’s explore 4 of the most common reasons why someone might have a gummy smile:

#1: Born With Excess Gum Tissue

Sometimes a gummy smile is caused by one’s genetic makeup, such as naturally being born with more gum tissue than the average mouth.

#2: Lip and Jaw Size/Shape

Another common genetic cause of a gummy smile is when an individual is born with a thin upper lip. When the upper lip is small, it isn’t easy to cover up the desired amount of gum line while smiling. Similarly, the positioning, alignment, and shape of the jaw can also play a role in creating a gummy smile as well.

#3: Side Effect of Medications

A few medications on the market come with the side effect of gingival overgrowth. This condition causes a gummy smile, and in some cases, can even cause the gum tissue to cover up the tooth entirely. The medications that can lead to this issue include a variety of ones for heart disease, seizures, and immunosuppressants.

#4: Poor Oral Hygiene Practices

When you aren’t regularly brushing or flossing your teeth to maintain optimal oral hygiene, it is all too common for gums to become inflamed from gum disease and plaque buildup. This inflammation can cause the gums to cover a disproportionate amount of a tooth’s surface.

What Is The Typical Treatment For A Gummy Smile?

Is a gummy smile hindering your confidence about your appearance? Not to worry, there are treatment options a periodontist can perform to fix this issue. One of the most common and effective procedures used is called a crown lengthening procedure. This is a relatively low-risk and straightforward oral surgery.

Crown lengthening is a brief surgery where the periodontist reshapes gum and bone to reveal more of the tooth’s surface. This helps in creating a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing gum-to-tooth ratio while smiling. A periodontist starts by making small incisions in the gums and reshaping the gum line. Next, they remove excess bone and gum tissue and suture back up the gums when finished.

Crown Lengthening Procedures At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester

If you are ready to improve the appearance of your gummy smile, look no further than to Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester. Our team of trusted periodontists is trained to perform crown lengthening procedures to create the smile of your dreams. To learn if you are a candidate for this surgery, call us at 585-685-2005 or contact us online.

Sources:
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470437/

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