You have a “gummy smile” when your gums are prominently on display when you flash a grin. A gummy smile makes the upper teeth appear to be too short because of the amount of gingival tissue that can be seen when you smile. A gummy smile is also known as an “excessive gingival display.”

Gummy Smiles

(Freeimages / Tomasz A. Poszwa)

A gummy smile has no impact on your oral health, but it may affect your confidence when you smile. Many people with gummy smile avoid grinning because they feel self-conscious. Gummy smiles may be caused by any one of the following:

  • Your upper jawbone may have grown in such a way that the gum tissue protrudes.
  • Your teeth may have erupted abnormally, resulting in an excessive display of gingival tissues
  • Your teeth may appear to be especially short when this occurs
  • Your upper lip may move hyperactively when you smile, exposing extra gum tissue.

If you are unhappy with your gummy smile, treatment is available. See your dentist about your concern. If your dentist confirms the issue, he or she could send you to a prosthodontist in Ogden. The examination may involve digital impressions of your teeth and gums and possibly an x-ray to provide a closer look at the jaw bone and roots of the teeth.

The following are some of the treatment options for a gummy smile:

  • Orthodontics to shift the teeth
  • Surgery to adjust bone placement
  • Laser treatment (for simple cases)
  • An operation to modify the position of the lips
  • Sculpting of the gums and bone through surgery to create better-looking gum contours

With the help of these treatments, you could tweak your smile to achieve one you are happy with.