A 'gummy' smile happens, as the name suggests, when more of your gums show than your teeth when you smile. It's very common and can be treated by a periodontist. Some people describe the condition as having 'short' teeth – although it's more likely your teeth are standard length, just covered by excess gum tissue. There are other factors that can cause gummy smiles, too, and the first thing your periodontist will do is establish the cause of your gummy smile.
Causes of gummy smiles
- 1. Excess gum tissue covering the teeth
- 2. Having worn-down teeth
- 3. Having a high lip line
- 4. Hyperactive lip elevator muscle
- 5. Certain genetic conditions affecting the jaw
- 6. Altered passive eruption
The treatment will depend on the cause. For excessive gum tissue and worn teeth, crown lengthening is a common treatment. This involves removing and reshaping excess gum tissue and bone to expose more of your natural teeth. This can be performed on one tooth or several teeth, and is also sometimes performed before restorative treatment such as crowns. In some cases, laser treatment is available to remove excess gum tissue.
If your teeth are very worn-down or naturally short, your periodontist may recommend dental veneers. These could be made of porcelain or a composite, tooth-coloured material, and will restore your teeth to their natural length.
Orthodontic treatment such as invisible braces can be used for some genetic conditions affecting the jaw, while surgery can correct hyperactive lip elevator muscles. In some cases, Botox can also be used to control these muscles, although this treatment would require repeating every few months.
To discuss the best options to cure your gummy smile, you should speak to your dentist today.
- Improved confidence in your smile
- Veneers and crowns can be fitted to further improve your smile
- Your face will look more balanced
Flexible Gum Veneer (FGV)
If you have you had gum disease treated and are maintaining your gum health with great oral hygiene at home but you are disappointed and/or embarrassed by the spaces between your front teeth where the gums have tightened up and receded then you may benefit from a FGV. This is a flexible, gum-coloured silicone veneer that you wear throughout the day that will make these "black triangles" disappear. It is easily inserted, comfortable, secure and does not interfere with your speech or eating and drinking. It is removable to allow you to continue to perform your excellent oral hygiene measures.
It takes just 2 appointments for impressions then it is fitted at the 3rd appointment. The impressions taken will provide you with two FGVs which you can wear alternately or consecutively. Once the first FGV meets your approval the 2nd one can be made and fitted. Each FGV lasts about 2 years with careful handling.
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- 1st appointment - 20 min - Initial Impressions
- 2nd appointment - 40 minutes - 2 weeks later - Secondary Impressions
- 3rd appointment - 20 minutes - 2 weeks later - Fit Gum Veneer
- Total cost £600