While perfect teeth are often perceived as the key to a stunning smile, much like with general dentistry it’s important not to neglect the gums.
When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, gummy smiles are one of the most common reasons people are not happy with their smiles. They can lead to discomfort about laughing, smiling during pictures, or even sharing joy with family members and loved ones.
The gum-to-tooth ratio is very important to consider when working on perfecting your smile. Studies have shown that an excess of 3mm gum to lip ratio is what creates the condition most describe as a gummy smile.
What causes a “gummy smile”?
A gummy smile is technically described as exacerbated gingival display, or gingival excess. Those with gummy smiles suffer from an excess of gum a few millimetres between the top of your teeth and the upper lip.
The primary cause of an overly gummy smile is genetics, but other factors that can make gums appear bigger when smiling include. These may include, but are not limited to:
- misaligned teeth
- short lips
- periodontitis (gum disease)
- protruded teeth (buck teeth)
Another common cause of a gummy smile is an abnormal eruption of the teeth. Teeth covered by excessive gum tissue appear short, even though they may be the proper length.
Also, the way in which your upper jaw bone has developed can potentially cause the appearance of a gummy smile despite the gums themselves being of regular length.
Often patients will jump to the conclusion that they need gummy smile surgery, but before we take any action, our experienced cosmetic dentists will discuss your options. Our team will first discuss the causes of your gummy smile to determine the best gummy smile treatment for you and to answer any questions you may have regarding potential treatment. You can book a consultation online or call our Bondi Junction & North Sydney dental clinics to discuss your case with one of our qualified dental professionals.
The Best Gummy Smile Treatment Options & How to Pick One
The broad range of factors leading to a gummy smile is equally matched by a range of treatments for gummy smiles available to patients. At Smile by Design, we treat each case individually to help you decide on the best course of action. Some of the treatments for a gummy smile are:
- Lip Lowering: The upper lip is re-positioned to make the gum line less exposed and the lip to gum ratio is more balanced.
- BOTOX: We use BOTOX to relax the lip so that it doesn’t have a high pulling effect, letting the upper lip rest further over the gum tissue and improving the lip to gum ratio. Gummy smile treatment with botulinum is an efficient method, with minimal risk of complications and very high patient satisfaction.
- Gum Contouring/Gum Leveling: This gummy smile surgery involves the removal of the gum tissue around the teeth so as to expose more tooth and reducing the gum length relative to the teeth.
- Crown Lengthening: A more comprehensive gummy smile treatment whereby gum tissue is removed, the bone is modified, and the gum line is re-contoured to establish a longer crown appearance.
Fixing a Gummy Smile in Sydney
These are just some of the treatments available to fix a gummy smile, and our cosmetic dentists are here to guide you though every stage of the process. Feel free to make an appointment for a cosmetic dental consultation at our North Sydney or Bondi Junction locations and we can step you through the best solution for fixing a gummy smile.
Dr. Michael Tam BDS (NZ) Grad Dip Clin Dent (Oral Implants) (Syd) has over 25 years experience in the dental field and with a special interest in Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, he obtained a Distinction Award from the NZDA in Continuing Dental Education and has met with dental practices in London, Europe, Asia, America and Canada. With years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Tam and his team have performed countless successful gummy smile makeovers in Sydney, across Australia and overseas so rest assured your teeth will be well taken care of.