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    Gummy Smile Treatment


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    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


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    When you meet people, the first thing they will likely notice about you is your smile. A perfect smile makes you feel good and boosts your self-confidence. You will probably feel conscious if your teeth are crooked, chipped, yellow, too small, or have gaps between them. A gummy smile can also affect your smile. This is a condition whereby you show too much gum when you smile. A gummy smile can occur for several reasons and can be treated in various ways. Different treatment methods deliver temporary or permanent results. If you have a gummy smile, the experienced cosmetic dentists at The Lakewood Dentist can correct it to give you the beautiful smile you have always desired.

    Understanding a Gummy Smile

    Also known as excessive gingival display, a gummy smile occurs when a larger than proportionate amount of gum tissue shows above your upper teeth when smiling. A gummy smile has no specific definition because it is not a medical problem. However, many people are uncomfortable with a gummy smile, thus the need to seek treatment.

    Extensive research has been conducted to determine what people consider excessive gingival display. Your smile is considered attractive when two millimeters or less of gum tissue is exposed. Your smile could be gummy if your gum tissue is exposed three millimeters or more. A gummy smile is more common in women than in men.

    The Common Causes Of A Gummy Smile

    The following are the common causes of a gummy smile:

    Side Effects Of Medication

    Most drug prescriptions have side effects. Enlarged gums can be one of those unintended repercussions of certain types of medications. Some of the drugs that can give you a gummy smile include:

    Altered Tooth Eruption

    Tooth eruption refers to the gradual pushing of the teeth through the gums and visibly emerging in the mouth. This occurs at around six years for permanent molars. Sometimes, certain teeth fail to erupt correctly, a condition referred to as “altered passive eruption” (APE).

    APE can cause your smile to look gummy because one or more teeth remain covered partially by the gums. This happens if your teeth fail to protrude fully into the mouth. This occurrence can affect the aesthetics of your smile even if it is not considered a health risk.

    Poor Dental Hygiene

    Your teeth are not the only part of your mouth that you should protect through oral hygiene. Plaque can get under the gums once it builds up on your teeth. The gums will then become inflamed and enlarged, which can cause a gummy smile. When this happens, you should follow the proper practices for healthy teeth and gums.

    Braces are indirectly associated with gummy smiles through poor dental hygiene. It is hard to brush and floss your teeth if you have traditional braces because they cause obstruction. This can build up bacteria around and in the gums, causing gummy smiles and inflammation. Patients with gum problems often avoid flossing and brushing the area because of pain, leading to poor dental hygiene.

    Genetics And Anatomy

    Genetics plays a significant role in gummy smiles in most patients. Gummy smiles are rarely caused by hereditary gingival fibromatosis (HGF). HGF is a slow but progressive enlargement of keratinized gingiva, which becomes severe to the extent of causing a speaking problem.

    Changes in your body’s anatomy can also cause a gummy smile due to hormonal imbalances related to puberty or pregnancy. Blood disorders like leukemia can also aggravate or cause gingival enlargement.

    Jaw Trouble

    At times, the upper jaw can cause a gummy smile. This can happen if the jaw is longer than usual for the size of your face and the amount of lip tissue available to cover the gums. This leads to exposure to excessive gum tissue.

    Lip Issues

    Your lips will be pulled up if the muscles around them are too strong. This could show more gum tissue than usual when you smile. This is known as hyperactive or hyper-mobile lip. Typical lips move six to eight millimeters from resting to a full smile. You could have hyperactive lips if they move more than this. In addition, if your lip is too short, it will reveal excessive gum when you smile, even if the teeth and jaw are of standard sizes.

    Treatment For Gummy Smile

    There are many ways of treating a gummy smile, whether you have excess gum tissue or the natural positioning of your lips shows too much of your upper gums. The treatment options will vary depending on your specific needs.

    A gummy smile is a cosmetic issue that does not affect the health of your teeth or other oral structures. However, you must contact a dentist if you are uncomfortable with your smile. Your dentist will help you understand what makes your gums to be more visible. Your dentist will also suggest the appropriate method of correcting excessive gum tissue once you discover why the gummy smile is present.

    Dentists can suggest one of the following treatment options depending on how much gum tissue you have and your specific needs:

    1. Muscle Relaxant Injections For a Gummy Smile

    Also known as anti-wrinkle injections, muscle relaxant injections are the simplest gummy smile treatment. The injections are suitable if a gummy smile is due to overactive muscles that surround the lips. Once injected into the appropriate area, the injection temporarily paralyzes the muscle that lifts the lip too high. The result lasts for at least six months.

    Understanding Muscle Relaxant Injections

    There are various brands of muscle relaxant injections. However, they all contain a similar active ingredient, botulinum toxin A. They also have sterile proteins that prevent muscle contraction, reducing strength. The more the product is used, the more the muscle will relax, reducing the contractions. Muscle relaxants are removed from the body after some time, ultimately regaining normal function. Therefore, the treatment must be repeated, usually every six months.

    Your dentist will decide on the muscle relaxant dosage you need, depending on the extent of the exposed gums. The dentist will inject botulinum on both sides of the nose to affect the muscles that move the lip. The injection will prevent the muscles from contracting significantly. This could cause the upper lip to relax and extend over the excess gum, which shows when you smile.

    You will experience a mild sting when the dentist administers muscle relaxant injections. The discomfort is, however, very mild and only takes a few seconds. The skin can bleed or turn red immediately afterward. An itching or a tingling sensation will follow, lasting several minutes. You will start experiencing the effects of the injections after several days. However, you will experience the full results after two weeks. Your dentist can recommend a review appointment at this stage. The review will help your dentist determine whether you need another botulinum dose to increase the effects.

    The Risks Of Muscle Relaxing Injections For Gummy Smile Treatment

    Although most medications carry the potential to cause side effects, muscle-relaxing injections are a safe and effective treatment. Your dentist will evaluate your health and medical history and discuss the possible side effects of the injection before the treatment. This reduces the risk of complications that may arise. You can rest assured that the treatment is safe.

    The potential side effects usually arise from the injection, not the product used. You could experience swelling, bruising, redness, and a possible skin infection. If your dentist administers the injection wrongly, it can affect a muscle in a location other than where it was supposed to be. It could also relax the muscles too much. This could affect your smile and the movement of your mouth. This is why you should seek the services of a skilled and competent dentist. The extreme complications could include headaches, flu-like symptoms, or allergic reactions.

    1. Gummy Smile Treatment With Lasers

    Dental laser treatment is one of the most effective treatments for a gummy smile. Your dentist will comfortably and efficiently remove all excessive gum tissue using laser treatment. Dental laser treatment also focuses on shaping your underlying jaw bone.

    During this procedure, your dentist will direct a concentrated laser beam toward the excess gum tissue. The laser produces no heat or vibration, making this procedure more comfortable. Using a gentle water spray, your dentist could also keep it smooth and steady.

    Dental laser treatment is comfortable and has a faster post-procedure recovery period than other treatment options. Due to reduced discomfort, this procedure is the best alternative to eliminating excess gum tissue. Additionally, the advanced technology of this procedure seals up the blood vessels automatically, reducing blood loss and swelling during and after the treatment.

    The dental laser is also the best alternative for patients who hesitate or fear invasive gummy smile treatment procedures. After this procedure, you will regain your original and attractive smile.

    Benefits And Risks Of Dental Laser Procedure

    Your beautiful smile will be restored after the dental laser procedure if you have an uneven gingival display or if excessive gum shows. There are several advantages to seeking the services of a competent cosmetic dentist for your treatment. Your dentist will remove excess gum tissue, increase tooth length, reshape the gum line, and produce a more symmetrical gum line. An experienced dentist gets it right the first time, reducing the risk of complications.

    The only complication or risk that could occur is excess swelling and bleeding. This complication is rare because of technological advancement, but it does not rule out the possibility of side effects. Besides swelling and bleeding, you could also face allergic reactions to anesthesia.

    Cost Of Dental Laser Treatment

    Dental laser treatment costs vary, just like other dental procedures. It depends on the quantity of gum that should be eliminated. Complications like excess swelling and bleeding could also increase the cost of treatment. However, dental laser treatment usually costs between $500 and $5000, depending on the gum line that requires treatment.

    The cost will be lower if the procedure involves fixing one or two teeth. The cost will be higher if the whole gum line requires treatment. This is the cost for dental laser treatment only. However, the cost could increase if the procedure requires other dental treatments like dental crown placement or porcelain veneers in combination with a dental laser.

    1. BOTOX For Simple Gummy Smile Treatment

    BOTOX is a safe procedure for gummy smile cases caused by a hyperactive upper lip. BOTOX is a non-surgical and straightforward treatment that can correct this gummy smile. Your dentist will inject BOTOX through a minimally invasive incision and target the elevator muscles. It temporarily prevents the upper lip’s movement and restricts its abnormal rising. The upper lip remains in place temporarily, minimizing exposure to the gums and covering more of the gum line. Non-surgical lip repositioning has the following advantages:

    1. Surgical Lip Repositioning

    Surgical lip repositioning is a minimally invasive procedure that corrects a gummy smile permanently. It does so by lowering the natural placement of the upper lip to reduce gum exposure. In this case, a large gap exists between the upper lip and the teeth. The display of normal gum tissue between the teeth and upper lip should be one to two millimeters in a typical smile. An excess gum-to-lip distance of 3mm or more is aesthetically unattractive.

    When excess gingival display is apparent, it is often a result of hyperactive elevator muscles. Hyperactive elevator muscles are responsible for the upper lip movement when you smile or talk. This leads to excessive gum tissue display.

    This treatment procedure prevents the movement of hyperactive muscles in the upper lip. It involves removing the tissue from the inside of the upper lip to avoid elevator muscle retraction. Two strips of tissue inside the upper lip are removed to create a partial thickness flap. This surgery gives you a beautiful smile and will not interfere with your speech or other facial muscles.

    The Benefits Of Surgical Lip Repositioning

    1. Lip Enhancement

    Lip enhancement is also a solution for correcting a gummy smile without surgery. In this procedure, dermal fillers are used to correct the gummy smile on the upper lip. Your dentist will inject dermal fillers into the upper lip to elongate the lip and cover the exposed gum. Lip enhancement will enable the lips to cover the gums, enhance the lip thickness, and improve the shape of the patient’s lips. Dermal fillers can also help you if you want to add volume and plumpness to your lips.

    1. Aesthetic Crown Lengthening

    A gummy smile can also improve with aesthetic dental crown lengthening surgery. This procedure is carried out under local anesthesia and IV sedation. The period this procedure will take depends on the number of teeth treated. It also depends on the quantity of bone and soft tissue that needs to be removed. Once your dentist achieves an aesthetic crown length, he/she will clean the treated area and restore it to an ideal look.

    Crown lengthening can be recommended for the following reasons:

    Recovery from aesthetic crown lengthening is usually straightforward and smooth because of the IV sedation and the medication prescribed after the surgery. Your dentist will request that you ice the area for 24 hours and take light anti-inflammatory medication for several days.

    Your dentist will give you a custom postoperative regimen based on your personal treatment requirements. You must eat bland and soft foods during the first few days after the operation. It is also crucial to avoid consuming hot food or drinks. Your dentist can also ask you to avoid consuming alcohol. It is also recommended not to engage in strenuous activities like lifting weights and going to the gym soon after treatment. This will help you prevent excess bleeding.

    The Cost Of Crown Lengthening

    Dental insurance can sometimes cover some of the costs of a crown lengthening procedure. However, whether the insurance covers the procedure or not depends on the purpose of the surgery. For example, dental insurance will come in only if you are undergoing a procedure to repair a damaged or broken tooth. It is, therefore, essential to consult your insurance provider before undergoing crown lengthening.

    The cost of crown lengthening varies from one individual to another based on the extent of treatment required. It also depends on the number of teeth that need crown lengthening.

    1. Porcelain Veneers

    Using veneers or crowns is another orthodontic treatment that can address the appearance of excess gum tissue in a gummy smile. This could be the best solution if you have no underlying issue causing the gummy smile to appear. In this case, your dentist will attach a veneer or crown to your teeth, providing a purely aesthetic treatment. The dentist will attach veneers or crowns to your teeth to make them appear longer and larger. This procedure will help your teeth to appear more proportional to your gums and smile.

    Natural Ways Of Fixing A Gummy Smile

    Natural ways are available that you can use to fix a gummy smile. You can avoid oral surgeon or orthodontic treatment by adopting the following natural ways to change your gum appearance:

    Scaling And Polishing

    You can suffer a gummy smile from gum inflammation from poor oral hygiene. With a few deep cleaning, polishing, and scaling sessions, you can reduce gum inflammation for a smile you will not be ashamed of.

    Use Of Alternative Drugs

    Some drugs like phenytoin can cause a gummy smile. Phenytoin can cause the formation of excess gum tissue, a condition called gum hyperplasia. You should contact your dentist to offer an optional drug if you are experiencing this side effect.

    Smile Exercise

    According to the therapists, doing facial exercises once or twice daily can reduce a gummy smile. The following are the steps of the exercises:

    Whether Dental Insurance Cover Gummy Smile Surgery

    Gummy smile surgeries are often considered cosmetic treatments. Most patient’s insurance does not cover such procedures. There are exceptions, such as if you require surgery to repair an injury caused by an accident. However, you should consult your insurance company and dental care provider for specific information about your situation.

    Find a Professional Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

    Does a gummy smile affect your confidence, lower your self-esteem, and make you self-conscious?

    Consider seeking a gummy smile treatment. There are many treatment options to choose from. The Lakewood Dentist has experienced cosmetic dentists who provide safe and affordable gummy smile treatments. Our dentists will evaluate your smile during the initial consultation and recommend the appropriate treatment. Contact us at 562-423-1441 to speak to one of our dentists.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!