A gummy smile is an oral alteration in patients with excessive gum that covers a large part of their teeth. This disproportion between the teeth and the gums can have several causes: excessive gum, small teeth, a vertical excess of the upper jaw giving the patient a gum that is too long or making it difficult for them to bite correctly, or some kind of gum disease.
At our dental clinic in San Sebastian we use a variety of periodontal treatments to correct a gummy smile depending on its causes. We also use other dental techniques that help to solve the problem according to the case at hand.
What is a gingivectomy?
Gingivectomy is a periodontal technique used to correct a gummy smile. It is a surgical procedure to remove a little extra gum and lengthen the visible tooth surface.
This is the treatment we generally use in the case of patients with mucous membrane health problems or for reasons of a more cosmetic nature. In both cases the teeth look small either because they are covered by gum, because the gum is inflamed, or simply because the patient has too much gum.
Gingivectomy is a technique performed in a single session at your dentist’s surgery using a scalpel or electric laser and causes the patient no pain nor discomfort. It is important for this operation to be conducted by a professional since wrongly cutting the gingiva could lead to other problems.
Other ways to correct a gummy smile
1. Lip surgery
This treatment is used to reposition the upper lip in patients with a very short lip that doesn’t cover their gum and means that we can see too much of it. It is a simple out-patient surgical operation conducted to correct a gummy smile when the problem is not the jawbone structure, an issue requiring a more complex solution.
Sometimes we come across mild cases of gummy smile caused by dental malposition where the teeth are covered more by the gum than they would be if they were in the correct position. Orthodontic treatment to align the teeth and correct malocclusion can make your teeth look longer when you smile.
3. Dental veneers
Dental veneers are fine laminates made in a material very similar to tooth enamel which are glued to the teeth and help to lengthen them in patients either with bad teeth or who have short teeth for genetic reasons.
When correcting a gummy smile, we use veneers to lengthen the teeth, provided that the problem is caused by teeth that are too small rather than an overly prominent gum.
If you still have doubts about a gummy smile and how to correct it, contact our cosmetic dentistry expert in San Sebastian and we’ll find a solution to your problem.