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How We Can Correct a Gummy Smile

Nov 11, 2022
When you smile, you’d prefer that your teeth take center stage and not your gums. If you have a gummy smile, the good news is that we can correct the issues, giving you a smile you’ll be proud to show off.

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and you want it to be one that they’ll remember — for the right reasons. If you feel that your smile is too gummy and the excessive tissue is a distraction from your otherwise great smile, we can help.

Here at Baton Rouge Perio, Drs. Jenny Herman and Kenneth Markle excel in gum-related issues, from receding gums to gummy smiles. To tackle gummy smiles, we offer crown lengthening, which can put the focus back on your teeth when you smile.

Behind your gummy smile

While a gummy smile doesn’t necessarily lead to any medical issues, it can pose cosmetic concerns. When you have a gummy smile, you have what we call excessive gingival display, which simply means that you’re showing a fair amount of gum tissue when you smile.

Of course, defining a gummy smile can be subjective, and it’s also proportional, which makes it hard to define in terms of numbers. That said, a good rule of thumb is more than 3-4 millimeters of visible gum tissue.

Gummy smiles are quite common — one study estimates that 10% of people between the ages of 20 and 30 have gummy smiles. The primary reason why gummy smiles are more common in younger populations is because, as you grow older, your upper lip falls and covers more of your gums.

When it comes to what causes a gummy smile, there are several potential culprits, including:

  • A short upper lip
  • Dentoalveolar extrusion — your teeth and gums overerupted
  • Genetics — excessive gum tissue may be a family trait
  • Vertical maxillary excess — long upper jawbone
  • Gingival hyperplasia — overgrowth of gum tissue

Whatever is behind your gummy smile, the good news is that we can help.

Lengthening your crowns

To restore a better tooth/gum ratio when you smile, we turn to crown lengthening. With this technique, we use advanced laser technologies to recontour your gums to reveal more of your teeth.

During the procedure, we reshape your gumline by removing excess gum tissue and, in some cases, shaving some bone down to expose more of your teeth.

We perform your crown lengthening right here in our office, and the procedure usually takes about an hour to complete. We ensure that you’re comfortable the entire time with an appropriate anesthetic or sedative.

After your crown lengthening, changes are immediate, but it will take some time for your final results to settle in as your gum tissue heals over the weeks and months following your crown lengthening.

Rest assured, we provide you with complete aftercare instructions that help your gums heal quickly and comfortably.

If you’d like to explore how crown lengthening can make quick work of your gummy smile, contact our office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to schedule a consultation.

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