My Blog

Posts for tag: Gummy Smile

By Scripps Ranch Periodontics & Implants
October 21, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gummy Smile  

Besides straight and translucent teeth, an attractive smile has another important component: balance. In a great smile, the visible areas of the teeth and gums are in balanced proportion to one another.

But what is the ideal proportion between teeth and gums? Although aesthetic appeal is largely “in the eye of the beholder,” dental professionals typically consider a properly sized tooth to be around 10 mm in visible length. As for the upper gums, no more than 4 mm of tissue should show when smiling. Teeth appearing shorter than 10 mm or the gums displaying more than 4 mm can create an effect called a “gummy smile.”

Fortunately, there are different approaches for correcting a gummy smile, depending on what's causing the appearance of gumminess. Not only are there different causes, but they can be diverse in nature.

Obviously, an actual excess of gum tissue can cause a smile to look gummy—but so can shortened teeth. One possible solution called crown lengthening could help correct either possibility. During the procedure, we remove any excess gum tissue or reposition the gums after reshaping the underlying bone to reveal more of the tooth crown. Worn or shortened teeth can also be made to look longer with porcelain veneers.

A gummy smile could also be caused by a hypermobile lip, in which the lip rises higher than normal while smiling. We may be able to prevent this temporarily by injecting Botox into the lip muscles, which paralyzes them and inhibits their ability to move upward. A more permanent approach is to surgically restrict the upward movement of the lip muscles.

The gums may also seem too prominent if the upper jaw is longer in proportion to the face. One way to correct this is orthognathic surgery, a procedure that moves the upper jaw to a higher position on the skull. This can reduce the jaw profile with the face and subsequently affect how much of the gums show while smiling.

These solutions range from relatively minor to significantly invasive. The first step, though, is to find out what's really behind your gummy smile before taking the next step to make it more attractive.

If you would like more information on improving a gummy smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gummy Smiles.”

By Scripps Ranch Periodontics & Implants
December 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gummy Smile  

Beautiful, healthy teeth are the hallmark of a great smile, but if your gums are prominent, it can leave you feeling less than confident about your grin.

The visibility of excess gum tissue, receding gums, or an uneven gum line can distract from your smile, but a gummy smile can be treated with the help of your periodontist at San Diego Dental Implant Center in San Diego, CA.

Let our talented periodontists correct your gum issues so you feel great about flashing your smile.

What can cosmetic gum surgery fix?

Receding gums

When the gums start to shrink down, it can leave the root of your tooth more visible. This can not only affect the appearance of your teeth but also leave the root of your tooth more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks and increase your risk of tooth decay.

Your periodontist at our San Diego office can remedy receding gums by using a grafting procedure, in which gum tissue from one area of the mouth, or donor tissue, is removed and reattached to the area of recession. Your periodontist will administer an anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure, and you will need to stick to soft foods for several days as your mouth heals and the stitches dissolve.

Excess gum tissue

Gum tissue that covers the upper portion of the tooth can make your teeth appear too small or short for your mouth. Your periodontist can use a crown lengthening procedure to remove some of the gum tissue so more of the tooth is visible.

Uneven gum line

You may have gums that appear receded in some places and elongated in others, leading to an unbalanced appearance. Using a dental laser at our San Diego office, your periodontist can sculpt your gum tissue and seal it closed to even out your gum line and improve the appearance of your smile.

If you are unhappy with your gum line, make an appointment with your periodontist Dr. Joseph Yang at our San Diego, CA office today by calling (858) 578-2205.