When a person smiles and in doing so exposes a wide stripe of gum tissue, they are said to have a gummy smile. This can be caused by teeth which failed to erupt sufficiently far out of the gums, a thin upper lip, or hyper active muscles with cause their upper lip to retract excessively when smiling. The type of treatment used to correct a gummy smile depends entirely on what is causing it.
The most commonly used form of treatment for a gummy smile is gingivoplasty, which is the excision of excess gum tissue. This gum tissue is carefully removed from around the tops of the patient’s upper teeth using a surgical laser. In doing so, it is possible to make the patient’s teeth look significantly longer and at the same time reduce the amount of gum tissue which can be seen when the person smiles.
Care must be taken not to remove an excessive amount of gum tissue as this can leave the roots of their teeth exposed. This can lead to hypersensitivity and the risk of decay at the root level. Depending on the severity of the case, veneers may also be used to increase the amount of visible tooth.
Lowering the Lip
For those who suffer from hyperactive muscle pull, a surgical approach may be necessary. This is a minor surgical procedure that was developed during the 1970s. It involves reattaching the gum tissues to the back of the upper lip at a lower point. This can be done on an outpatient level and involves the use of a local anesthetic.
By attaching the lip at a point closer to the top of the patient’s teeth, this procedure results in lower overall lip line in the resting position. It also reduces the amount of movement in the upper lip when the patient smiles and as such exposing little or no gum tissue. Both methods can be used successfully to reduce or eliminate “gummy smile” and restore the patient’s self-confidence.
Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants of Las Vegas and Henderson
Dr. De Andrade has performed thousands of these periodontal plastic surgery procedures here in Las Vegas. If you would like to schedule a consultation contact us and schedule your first meeting with Dr. D, Board certified periodontist and long time Las Vegas resident.