How to Improve a Gummy Smile
The first thing people notice about you is your smile, so you want to make sure it makes you feel confident and proud. While most people know braces can straighten teeth and teeth whiteners can remove yellowing, not as much is mentioned about fixing a gummy smile. Despite this, a gummy smile can cause many people to feel insecure about how they look and lead to depression and other issues. Luckily, there are things your orthodontist can do to help correct your gummy smile.
What is a gummy smile?
A gummy smile is a smile with more than 2 mm of gum line showing. While gummy smiles are technically in the eye of the beholder, most people surveyed thought people with more than 2 mm of gum showing had gums that were too big. This can be caused by a variety of different factors, including adult teeth being prevented from coming in, excessive growth of the jawbone, or upper lip muscles that are too short. While this impacts anywhere from 10% to 30% of the population, it can cause the person struggling with it to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, and unwilling to smile.
Can a gummy smile be fixed?
The good news is yes, it can! There are a variety of different treatments orthodontists will use to help correct your gummy smile.
Crown Lengthening – One of the more invasive treatments for a gummy smile is crown lengthening. This is a surgery done by a periodontist to remove excess gum from the mouth, exposing more of the upper part of the tooth. There is a second part of the surgery that then removes excess bone and shapes the jawline.
Botox Injection – Botox has a lot of uses, and yes, one of them is reducing the amount of gum showing in your mouth. This treatment takes three to six months to complete and must be repeated every six months to a year. This treatment, while it might be a good alternative to surgery, will only be effective if the cause of the gummy smile is your upper lip.
Orthodontist – An orthodontist can help with a gummy smile if the cause is the upper teeth moving downward or too much growth in the upper jawbone. This can be corrected most often using braces or Invisalign, followed by a TADS device. A TADS device is composed of titanium implants that are attached to the bone above your teeth, which looks kind of like headgear inside your mouth. Though this might sound overwhelming, it is a much better option than headgear on the outside of your mouth. And with proper use, a TADS device will most likely only need to be worn for a few months to a year.
If you have a gummy smile that you are ready to have fixed, contact Milnor Orthodontics today. We will be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to work out a treatment plan and discuss which payment options would work best for you.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.