Reduce a Gummy Smile

You may be wondering to fix your "gummy smile" because your teeth are too short. Many times the teeth are the proper length, they are just covered by too much gum tissue. This condition is called "altered passive eruption." To make the smile look better, excess gum tissue is removed (often times with a laser) to expose all the beautiful enamel nature gave you. The following photos will show examples of this type of treatment.

Gummy Teeth

Before photos are on the left, after photos are on the right. Both women did not like their "gummy smiles." The excess gum tissue was removed and that brought a more natural balance to their smiles.

Gummy Teeth

This patient had teeth with were both too short and discolored. A combination of esthetic crown lengthening followed by teeth greatly enhanced his smile.

Gummy Teeth

These pictures speak for themselves. This patient was thrilled with her new smile after removing the excess gum tissue.

Gummy Teeth

This patient had great looking teeth but too much gum tissue and some asymmetry. Simply removing the excess gum tissue made a huge difference.

Some people have a gummy smile because they have worn their natural teeth down from grinding. This next case is an example of short teeth from excessive wear.

Gummy Teeth

This patient's teeth are so short from years of grinding (also called bruxism) and not protecting his teeth by wearing a night guard. Following crown lengthening porcelain restorations were placed. He can't stop smiling!!

How Dr. Scharf Fixes Gummy Smiles

When you smile, do you find that your upper teeth are overshadowed by the excessive gum tissue in your mouth? If you do, you may have what is referred to as a gummy smile. A gummy smile with too much gums isn’t an oral health concern, but many patients find them to be aesthetically displeasing and are ashamed of the look. The concern can go the other way too—gum recession can result in too much of your teeth being exposed which can be an oral health issue. However, gummy smiles are possible to fix! Dr. David Scharf and his dental team offer numerous treatment options to solve the gummy smile problem for our patients.

What Causes Gummy Smiles?

A gummy smile can have numerous causes behind it. From having a tooth erupt to the development and growth of your upper jaw bone, there are many unpredictable factors that can result in your smile being gummy. Here are some of the causes of gummy smile:

  • Abnormal teeth eruption: when your teeth erupt in your gums improperly, it can lead to the majority of the tooth being covered by an excessive amount of gum tissue. This results in your teeth looking short even though they’re likely a proper length.
  • Hyperactive upper lip muscle: more of your gum tissue can be exposed when you smile as a result of a hyperactive upper lip muscle since your upper lip will rise higher than normal.
  • Upper jaw bone growth and development: if your jaw bone developed a certain way when you were still growing and development, such as a bulging protrusion in your upper jaw, that would result in a gummy appearance to your smile.

What Treatment Options are Available for Gummy Smiles?

If you suspect that you have a gummy smile and you want to seek treatment options, please come visit Dr. David Scharf so he can assess your smile and recommend appropriate treatment options. During the examination process, Dr. David Scharf will take a look at your mouth, your gums, and your teeth to determine the possible causes of your gummy smile along with other oral health concerns like gum disease. This examination could be a simple conventional look or it could involve more extensive methods like digital impressions of your gums and teeth. An x-ray image can also help examine your jaw bone and tooth roots.

Here are some of the treatment options available to treat gummy smiles, along with a description of what the treatment is:

Laser gum treatment

With the use of a laser, diseased tissue can be eradicated while healthy tissue is left untouched. This is used to treat gum disease which can be a cause behind a gummy smile. The laser will make it so that your gum line is ultimately at a level acceptable for you.

Maxillofacial surgery

In some cases, a patient’s jaw bone needs to repositioned in order to solve the issue of a gummy smile.

Orthodontic treatment

Braces and aligners can help reposition your teeth into a more suitable position which can correct some gummy smiles.

These are just a few of the options out there to fix gummy smiles. There are other methods out there; surgical and non-surgical. You’ll need to discuss with Dr. David Scharf what treatment method best suits your unique situation.

Make an Appointment

Dr. David Scharf and his team of dental professionals is here to help fix your gummy smile. We want you to be able to smile proudly again and be happy with it, so we are available to reorient the gum tissue until your pearly whites shine through again. Should you wish to know our office hours, make an appointment with us, or learn more about how we can help you with your gummy smile, we are available to help! Dr. David Scharf has dedicated himself to providing the best dental care possible to the people of New York!