Common Treatment Methods to Correct a Gummy Smile

When the adult teeth erupt during adolescence, they move through the gums and supporting bone until they are present in the mouth. The process then continues at a slower pace until the gum and bone tissue has sunken back. However, some people find that their teeth don't seem to come as much out of the gum as they would like. When they smile, they show more gum and less tooth surface than other people, a condition which has become known as "gummy smile".

Gummy smiles present few actual risks to oral health, but people can become self-conscious about them, and there's no reason not to have the issue fixed. Here are just a few of the most common treatment methods.

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring is one of the easiest and least expensive treatment plans for a gummy smile. Essentially, part of the gum is cut away in order to reveal more of the tooth surface below. Local anaesthesia will be used to prevent any pain, and then your dentist will use a special laser to remove any excess gum tissue; don't worry, that laser won't be strong enough to damage your teeth. Gum contouring can be a fantastic option since it can be completed in one session, and you'll experience very little pain or discomfort afterward.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a more invasive procedure than gum contouring, but it can work just as well. A periodontist will make cuts with a scalpel and then pull the gums away from the teeth to reveal the roots and surrounding bone. They will then remove some of that gum tissue, and, unlike with gum contouring, they may also remove some of the underlying bone. The recovery time tends to be a little longer than with gum contouring, though this depends on the extent of gum and bone removed.

Adhesive Crowns or Veneers

Sometimes a gummy smile will be caused as much by smaller teeth as by a failure of teeth to fully erupt from the gums. In such cases, gum contouring and crown lengthening won't be as effective, so a cosmetic dentist may instead suggest fitting crowns or full veneers. This will provide you with a fuller smile, though you may find it necessary to undergo gum contouring in advance for the best result. Having veneers fitted instead of simply getting crowns can completely makeover your smile, though this is quite a costly option when all teeth need to be covered.

Talk to a cosmetic dentist for more information.