Gummy Smiles: Causes and Treatments

While your gums are a crucial your mouth, you probably don’t want to show them off every time you smile. More commonly known as a “gummy smile,” some people have a lot of gum tissue that can be seen whenever they laugh or grin. Although it’s generally not an urgent issue, individuals with a gummy smile often feel less confident about their smile. This is especially difficult in an age where everyone is sharing frequent selfies to their friends and family on Snapchat. If you are one of the many adults who doesn’t like gummy smile, you should know there are several dental procedures that may help. No matter whether your gummy smile is caused by overdeveloped tissue or a hyperactive upper lip, talking to your dentist in Niles, OH about your worries can lead you to a solution. Our staff at DentalWorks – Eastwood Niles takes the time to work with our patients to understand their needs and goals before we discuss possible treatment options, like laser gum contouring or orthodontics. Once you’ve chosen a treatment, we will customize your plan to produce your best results. Before you come to your consultation, read more about why some people have a gummy smile and some possible treatment options. When you’re ready, give us a call to make an appointment at our office in Niles, OH.

There’s a number of reasons why some people struggle with showing more gum than teeth when they smile or laugh. Before choosing your treatment, your dentist will need to determine what’s causing your gummy smile. This can normally be achieved with a simple dental examination, but in some cases, your dentist may take digital x-rays or request a bite assessment.

    One of the most common causes of a gummy smile is an overgrowth of tissue that covers too much of your teeth. This makes your teeth appear short because your gums are covering too much enamel. Extra gum tissue can develop because of genetics, certain medication, as well as inflammation in your gum tissue. Before fixing your smile, your dentist should look for the underlying cause. If the problem is caused by gum disease, you may need a scaling and root planing treatment. If there is no underlying condition causing your gum overgrowth, your smile can usually be raised with laser gum sculpting by a board-certified dentist in Niles, OH.
    A few individuals have a hyperactive upper lip, so the muscles that control the skin beneath the nose raise the lip up too far, which exposes more of the gums. This is usually a genetic trait and while it is not a medical problem, lots of people would like to get it treated so their smile looks more attractive. Many patients in Niles, OH have treated their gummy smile caused by a hyperactive upper lip with injections of BOTOX.
    Sometimes, how your teeth and jawbone developed can lead to a gummy smile. For example, if your upper jaw juts out, it can cause buck teeth and too much gum. A dental misalignment is generally fixed with an orthodontic treatment, like braces or removable aligners.


    If your excess gum tissue is caused by an infection or inflammation, your dentist may take care of this with a scaling and root planing (SRP) treatment. Once the underlying issue is treated, your dentist can determine if you are still an ideal candidate for laser gum sculpting.
    To eliminate overdeveloped gum tissue and reveal more enamel, our dental practice in Niles, OH performs laser gum sculpting (also called periodontal plastic surgery or crown lengthening). With advanced technology and techniques, we carefully remove little strips of gum until a higher gumline is achieved. The laser cauterizes the tissue to minimize bleeding during the procedure and make your recovery quicker in comparison to traditional gum surgery. Your dentist will use the laser to improve your gum tissue so your smile has the optimal ratio of teeth to gum tissue. Depending on your precise needs, DentalWorks – Eastwood Niles offers different types of sedation to keep you comfortable while we contour your gumline.
    If your gummy smile is caused by a hyperactive upper lip, you may ask your dentist about BOTOX. Similar to the way injections of BOTOX relax facial muscles to minimize lines on your forehead, BOTOX can be used in the area between your nose and lips to temporarily limit the rise of your lip when you smile so your gums remain covered. While many dental offices in Niles, OH do not perform BOTOX injections, they can usually recommend a skilled plastic surgeon to help you.
    To repair a gummy smile caused by a bad bite, your dentist may recommend an orthodontic treatment. At DentalWorks – Eastwood Niles, we offer clear aligners to fit the needs of each of our patients in Niles, OH. Our team considers each patient’s unique needs and goals before recommending an orthodontic treatment plan. Once it’s done, your smile will be less gummy and your whole mouth will be healthier once your teeth are correctly positioned and spaced.

If you are seeking a solution to a gummy smile, there are options to help improve it at DentalWorks – Eastwood Niles. A great smile can boost your self-esteem and you may find you want to smile more! To get more information on laser gum contouring to remove excess tissue, speak to your dentist in Niles, OH to schedule a consultation. During a consultation at DentalWorks – Eastwood Niles, our board-certified dentist will assess your teeth and gums and discuss your choices. Our team can perform a scaling and root planing treatment to reduce gum inflammation or laser gum contouring to remove overdeveloped tissue. We also offer modern orthodontic options that will not just correct your gummy smile, but also move your teeth into alignment for a more attractive smile and better oral health. No matter which option you select, we’ll create a treatment plan that improves your gumline so that you may smile with the right ratio of enamel to gums.