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What Is the Cause of a Gummy Smile?

June 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — thornton @ 10:41 pm
Person showing gummy smile

Are you happy with the way your smile looks? It is estimated that about 10% of young adults out there feel like their smile appears to be too “gummy” and feel self-conscious when showing off their pearly whites. There are many reasons why this occurs, but you don’t always need to settle for it. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of a gummy smile and what your dentist can do to reduce this.

What Is a Gummy Smile?

There isn’t any exact definition of a gummy smile. It is more so determined by just looking at someone’s mouth and judging the gum to teeth proportion for yourself. Most of the time, a gummy smile means having more exposed gum tissue than the average person. 3 to 4 millimeters of exposed gum tissue is generally considered disproportionate, but your perception can be determined by the following:

  • Height of the teeth
  • Shape of the teeth
  • Movement of the lips
  • Angle of the jawbone

What Causes Gummy Smiles?

There are numerous reasons why people end up with this cosmetic “issue.” Here are the most common:

  • Tooth Growth: Everyone’s permanent teeth grow in a little bit differently. If your gums are covering more of your teeth’s surface, this is known as “altered passive eruption.” If your teeth grew in too far, your gums may have too. There are all sorts of genetic conditions that can contribute to the development and growth of both your gums and teeth.
  • Medication: Certain prescription medicines, especially those intended to prevent seizures, lower blood pressure, and suppress the immune system, can cause gingival hyperplasia. This is when they grow too much around the tooth.
  • Lip size: If you have a smaller upper lip, more of your gum tissue may be exposed when you speak, laugh, or smile.

How Can a Gummy Smile Be Treated?

Gummy smiles aren’t usually an oral health problem, but they can still be treated if you’re unhappy with the appearance. With laser dentistry, your dentist can reshape the gumline to make the teeth appear longer and fuller. If your gummy smile is a result of undersized teeth, you could opt for dental veneers to give them a longer, more uniform appearance.

If you don’t like the appearance of your smile because it looks gummy, talk to your dentist. This way, you can come up with a cosmetic dental treatment plan that works best for you.

About the Author

Dr. Neely Davis Thornton earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. Currently, she is an active member of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, and several other professional organizations. If you think your smile is too gummy, she’d be happy to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment at her office in Marietta, visit her website or call (770) 422-7727.

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