A “gummy smile” often describes teeth that appear short as a result of too much gum tissue visible when smiling. This is often due to either an over-retracted upper lip or genetics affecting the shape of your lips, lower face and oral structure. In most cases, it is a cosmetic concern and does not affect your dental health, but there are treatment options that can provide a more balanced look, exposing more of the tooth surface and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile.
Dr. Richard and Dr. Bruce Corbin can provide the experienced care and advanced treatment options you need to address a gummy smile and any underlying dental health issues that are related to the appearance of your teeth and gums. Your dentist in Queens NY can work with you on an individual basis to create a new look that enhances your natural smile and supports stable or improved long-term oral health. We can boost your smile confidence with personalized care for your unique needs and aesthetic goals.
Treating a Gummy Smile: What to Expect
The first step towards a more pleasing and balanced smile is a consultation to evaluate all aspects of your smile and to discuss your desired outcome. Using digital technology and diagnostics we can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.
There are treatment options for reducing gum tissue and achieving your goals:
- Crown lengthening: if the teeth are determined to be too short, this procedure will recontour the gums using special tools to push up visible tissue and create a higher gum line. The process can be performed using dental sedation for your comfort and may require the placement of sutures to allow proper healing.
- Laser dentistry: dental lasers can be highly effective for removing excess gum tissue, also known as gingival hyperplasia with great accuracy. Laser dentistry is less invasive, less painful and promotes natural healing.
Do you have gum recession?
Gum recession is a common dental problem that happens gradually. When pockets form between the teeth and the gums, bacteria increases, eventually causing the gum line to wear away and expose more of the tooth. Gum recession can lead to tooth decay, bone, teeth and tissue loss.
While gum recession can go unnoticed, there are a few signs to watch for, such as loose or longer teeth, chronic bad breath (halitosis), sensitive teeth, swollen or red gums, and visible gaps between the teeth and gums.
What are the causes?
There are a number of factors that can cause gum recession such as:
- Gum disease: Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession. Increased bacteria in the mouth causes inflammation and infections that destroy gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place.
- Poor dental hygiene: Not following good dental hygiene practices will cause the bacteria in your mouth to increase. When this happens, the plaque turns into tartar. To avoid this, brush and floss your teeth twice a day and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Brushing your teeth too hard: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away causing your gums to recede.
- Genes: If your family has a history of receding gums, you may be predisposed to gum disease.
- Hormones: Fluctuating hormone levels such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause the gums to be more sensitive making you susceptible to gum recession.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can damage your gums and cause them to recede.
- Diabetes: High diabetic levels can cause bacteria to increase in the mouth which can lead to receding gums.
What is the Treatment?
Catching gum recession in the early stages can slow it down and prevent gum loss before too much damage occurs. If you have just noticed that your gums are receding and your condition is not advanced, Dr. Corbin can offer you a nonsurgical treatment method such as deep cleaning and antibiotics with some special instructions for at home care.