When you smile, do you see more of your gums than teeth? If you do, you may have a gummy smile.
What Is a Gummy Smile?
A gummy smile, or excessive gingival display, is a smile that shows too much upper gum tissue. Researchers are still unsure of how much is ‘too much’. Though, in some cases, authors have said a gummy smile is more than 3mm to 4mm of exposed gingival tissue.
A gummy smile is not a medical concern but a cosmetic one. For this reason, dentists can’t determine whether a patient has a gummy smile or not. Only you can decide whether you show excessive amounts of gingival tissue and seek treatment.
You may adopt a gummy smile for many reasons, such as small teeth, protruding gums or overgrowth of the upper jaw. It is sometimes rooted deeply in genetics, so there isn’t much you can do to avoid it.
A gummy smile may not be a medical concern, but it can enormously impact your daily life. If you cover your mouth when you laugh or only smile with closed lips, you conceal a beautiful form of self-expression and emotion. Here at Cliftonville, we understand the power a smile can hold over your confidence. So, it’s vital you feel good about it.
Fortunately, there are many ways we can fix a gummy smile, depending on its cause. Sometimes this can be surgical treatment. Though we also offer Facial Aesthetics as a quick fix for a gummy smile. Read this blog to find out how.
What Can Be Done to Fix a Gummy Smile?
There isn’t one universal fix for all cases. The method used often depends on what is causing your gummy smile in the first place. We recommend booking a consultation appointment, so our dentists can determine your most effective treatment option.
We may advise an orthodontic treatment, such as veneers, for mild gummy smiles or short teeth. Veneers are porcelain veils placed above short teeth to improve the teeth-to-gum ratio.
If we’re working with more severe cases, such as teeth obscured by gum tissue, this may need surgery to fix. For example:
Gingivectomy: consists of the surgical removal of excess gingival tissue around the teeth. Designed for treating gum disease, it can fix a gummy smile by revealing the once-hidden tooth surface.
Crown-lengthening: consists of the surgical removal of excess gingival tissue to reveal the tooth’s crown. This surgery is advisable for patients whose crowns haven’t fully erupted. The main difference between this procedure and a Gingivectomy is that a dentist may shave the bone to improve tooth structure.
A gummy smile can also be due to a short or hyperactive top lip. Before, you could only fix this with lip-repositioning surgery. But now, thanks to enhancements in Botox and filler technology, we can offer injectables as a quick fix for a gummy smile. Facial Aesthetics are also less invasive, so we prefer to use them on our patients when possible.
Botox and Lip Fillers
You may not know this, but Botox treatment is incredibly versatile. It can blur out wrinkles, aid sweat management and help bedtime teeth grinders. It can also reduce a gummy smile by paralysing the hyperactive muscles that cause the upper lip to rise. Doing this stops your lips from lifting beyond the gum line when you smile or laugh.
Lip fillers can also do much more than just balance and volumise uneven, thin lips. Fillers can ease a gummy smile by adding thickness to the upper lip, so it hides some of the gingival tissue.
These procedures are simple, effective and provide natural-looking results. Facial aesthetics are also temporary, so you can always choose to bring your old smile back if you wish. You may not feel so confident when you smile now, but you never know how these feelings may change in the future.
Botox (Anti-wrinkle injections):
At Cliftonville, we use Botox and Azzalure — trade names for Botulinum Toxin Type A.
Botulinum Toxin Type A is a neurotoxin administered by injecting ultra-fine needles into the desired area. Don’t let the word ‘toxin’ scare you. Botox is a safe procedure when administered by a trained medical professional.
Botulinum minimises a hyperactive upper lip by paralysing the nerves that activate the muscle. A small amount of Botox is injected between the nose and upper lip for a gummy smile, limiting the lift without any loss of feeling.
Will it hurt?
It will not hurt more than an insect bite or pinprick.
How long will it last?
Botox is a quick procedure; the results are almost instantaneous with minimal downtime.
How long results last vary for each individual. It typically lasts 3-4 months.
You can repeat Botox treatments 3-4 times a year. After a few treatments, the effects may extend up to 6 months.
Click here to learn more about what to expect from our anti-wrinkle treatments.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body which attracts water to the skin. It adds hydration, volume and elasticity back to the cells.
Lip filler treatment involves injecting hyaluronic acid into the desired treatment area. For gummy smiles, it can increase the thickness of your upper lip to hide the excess gums.
At Cliftonville, we use Emervel and Juvederm filler for all our patients. Lip filler can also enhance Botox by adding thickness to thin, undefined upper lips. Therefore, pairing these two treatments together can be a great idea.
Will it hurt?
Everyone has different pain thresholds. But we won’t lie to you: injecting into this area without pain relief can be very sore. That’s because the lips are full of nerves and are a sensitive part of the body.
We do everything we can to ensure your experience is as pain-free as possible. Our dentists apply topical numbing cream to all patients before the procedure. Emervel and Juvederm also include a local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort.
How long will it last?
We recommend a touch-up 2-4 weeks after treatment to achieve the best results. This can improve the duration of the results, which usually lasts up to 6 months.
Click here to learn more about what to expect from our lip fillers.
Dentists can help fix your gummy smile with various in-house treatments. Methods range from surgical, orthodontics and facial aesthetics, determined by the cause and severity of your case.
Facial aesthetics are our preferred quick fix for a gummy smile. This is because Botox and lip fillers provide natural-looking results with minimal recovery time. They can also be more cost-effective compared to other treatment options. But be mindful that injectables are temporary, so you will need top-ups to maintain desired results.
Contact Cliftonville Dental for Facial Aesthetics in Northampton.
Facial aesthetics are safe when administered by trained and certified medical professionals. At Cliftonville, rest assured that our dentists are extensively trained in the anatomy of the face and injectables.
Call our friendly reception team on 01604 604545 to book a consultation with our Facial Aesthetics Specialist. Or, click here if you’d prefer to contact us online.