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What You Can Do About Your Gummy Smile

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry,Gum Recontouring — allanmohr @
a woman with dark hair pointing at her smile

Living with a gummy smile in Long Island can leave you feeling embarrassed. Social gatherings are often unwelcomed events, and you may find yourself dodging the camera during holidays and special occasions. If you find yourself asking, “Why are my gums so prominent” or “Why do my teeth look so short,” it’s time to hear from a local expert who explains the reasons behind gummy smiles and what can be done to improve your aesthetics and oral health.

The Reasons Behind Excess Gum Tissue

As you transition from childhood to adulthood, you’ll notice your smile changes in multiple ways. Saying goodbye to your baby teeth means saying hello to your permanent, adult teeth. Depending on how they erupt, it can lead to excess gum tissue around your pearly whites.

The following are just a few reasons why you may develop what is known as a “gummy smile:” 

  • Your Genetics – Does your mother or father have excessive gum tissue? If so, there is a chance your genetics can cause a gummy smile to develop. As your permanent teeth erupt, they can grow in too far and cause the soft tissues to cover more of the natural structure.
  • Your Lips – When smiling, how does your upper lip appear? If it is shorter than your bottom lip, there is a possibility your gum tissue will appear more exposed when you smile. This is also true for individuals who have lips that are hypermobile, meaning they move considerably when smiling. 
  • The Medications You Take – If you take medications that are designed to treat high blood pressure, prevent seizures, or suppress your immune system, you can be faced with the potential for excess gum tissue. This is why it’s important to work with your physician to treat the condition or disease to avoid the potential for future oral health problems (i.e., periodontal disease).

Ways to Treat a “Gummy Smile”

Your cosmetic dentist can provide a breadth of options that are designed to address the overgrowth of gum tissue and help you to see a new and improved smile. A few ways this can be done include:

  • Gum Recontouring/Crown Lengthening: Whether your gum line is uneven, or you possess too much soft tissue around your teeth, your dentist can use a soft tissue laser to gently remove the excess and create a more balanced appearance. If you require a dental crown or veneer and do not have enough tooth structure for adequate placement, crown lengthening can make it possible for your dentist to remove a small piece of bone around the tooth, so the structure is exposed, allowing our restoration to be properly placed. 
  • Root Coverage Gum Grafting: If your gums are receding and causing your teeth to appear longer, a gum graft can be an ideal solution to cover exposed tooth roots and better protect them from more serious dental problems (i.e., tooth sensitivity, gum disease).
  • Cosmetic Gum Augmentation: If you are preparing for a tooth extraction and want to avoid bone loss and changes in your facial shape, your dentist can perform a cosmetic gum augmentation. Not only will you likely have a bone graft to ensure sufficient bone is available for your tooth replacement, but a gum graft will also prevent indentations in the soft tissues, allowing you to achieve a more pleasing aesthetic.

Don’t let a gummy smile stand in your way. Find a cosmetic dentist who can offer multiple solutions to help you say goodbye to an unpleasant gum line and hello to a new and improved you.

About the Author
Don’t like the look of your smile? Dr. Allan S. Mohr is a cosmetic dentist in Long Island who has been helping patients improve the look of their teeth and gums for more than 30 years. Understanding there is more to a person’s smile than their pearly whites, Dr. Mohr offers multiple treatment options to address what is known as a “gummy smile.” If you are tired of an uneven gum line or feel embarrassed by your appearance, contact our team at (516) 882-3415.

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