Gummy Smiles- Can Anything be Done?

When you look at your smile, do you see more of your gums than your teeth? 

Why does this happen? 

There are several reasons why you might have a more “gummy” smile than other people. In this blog, we go over a few of those reasons and tell you how we can help you get a more even smile you’ll want to show off everywhere! 

What Is A Gummy Smile? 

A gummy smile is when your visible gum tissue has a thick appearance. This makes it seem like there’s less space between your teeth. It also gives the appearance that your teeth are shorter and that perhaps your mouth or gums are unhealthy. 

The result is an overall impression of a larger mouth. 

Does Your Gummy Smile Make You Feel Self-Conscious? 

If you say yes, you’re not alone. Many people feel self-conscious about their smiles because of their excess gum tissue. They may be embarrassed by their smile in public settings or they may avoid smiling altogether. Some people with a gummy smile even try to avoid getting their picture taken or skip out on dating because they’re self-conscious. 

What Causes a Gummy Smile? 

There are many factors that contribute to having a gummy smile. Some of these include: 

Genetics. If you have family members with gummy smiles, chances are you will too. Genetics plays a large role in determining whether you develop a gummy smile.

Smoking. Smoking has been linked to gingivitis, which causes inflammation of the gums. The inflammation leads to increased levels of collagen and elastin, both of which make the gums appear thicker and more uneven. 

Diet. Eating foods high in sugar and starch can cause plaque buildup on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up on your teeth and contributes to tooth decay. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which can lead to cavities. Foods such as candy, soda and ice cream all contain sugars and starches that can lead to built-up plaque. 

Poor Oral Hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time is recommended. However, if you don’t brush long enough, you could miss areas where plaque collects. Not brushing often enough can also lead to poor oral hygiene and increase the risk of developing gingivitis and gum pockets that collect bacteria. 

Bad Bite. A bad bite can affect how your teeth fit together as a result of crowding or gaps, which can contribute to poor oral hygiene and gum disease. You may need orthodontic treatment to correct your misaligned bite. 

How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Smile? 

Aside from swollen gums causing your smile to look uneven and “gummy,” when you think of gum disease, what comes to mind? Chances are, you think of bleeding gums, swollen gums and bad breath. But did you know that gum disease can actually affect your smile? Here are some ways gum disease affects your smile: 

Reduced Bone Density. When bone density decreases, the jawbone becomes weaker and more susceptible to fractures. As a result, the teeth become loose and fall out. 

Increased Risk of Periodontal (Gum) Tissue Loss. When periodontal tissue loss occurs, the gums begin to recede and expose the roots of the teeth. Eventually, the root surfaces become rough and damaged. This results in the formation of pockets around the roots of the teeth, which allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream. 

Loose Teeth. Loose teeth are caused by gum disease. As the gums recede, the teeth become loose. In severe cases, the teeth can fall out. 

Bad Breath. Bad breath is one of the first signs of gum disease. 

Increased Tooth Decay. When periodontal disease progresses, it can weaken the enamel of the teeth, making them more prone to decay. This can cause the teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Gummy Smile?

If you want to get rid of your gummy smile, there are several treatment options you can do. These include: 

Brushing and Flossing Daily. It’s important to brush and floss daily to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and under your gum line. You should be able to see at least three-quarters of your tooth surface after brushing. If you’re unable to see this much space, then you need to brush longer. 

See a Dentist Regularly. Once every six months, schedule an appointment with us so we can check your teeth for any problems or underlying issues. 

Laser Gum Therapy. Laser gum therapy uses light energy to treat gum diseases like gingivitis. During laser gum treatment, a laser beam is used to destroy the bacteria that cause gum disease. 

Professional Cleanings. Professional dental cleaning appointments help keep your mouth clean and healthy. We’ll use special tools to gently polish away debris and plaque from your teeth and gums.

Laser Gum Treatment. If you have advanced gum disease, laser gum surgery may be recommended. During laser gum surgery, a laser is used to cut away excess gum tissue and reduce how much tissue shows when you smile (also known as gingival displays). This treatment is also known as a gum-lift procedure or crown-lengthening treatment because it increases the amount of your crown (tooth) that is visible. This is a less invasive procedure compared to surgical treatment.  

Want to reduce the gummy appearance of your smile? Call us now to discuss your options and how a laser gum-lift procedure can help you.