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Gummy Smile: Causes and Treatments

There are several reasons for a gummy smile, and treatment of this condition depends on the etiology of the excessive gingival display. This requires detailed comprehensive extra and intraoral examinations and measurements in the scope of the expertise of Prosthodontists.
Sometimes short upper lips result in a gummy smile; in other cases, a normal length but hyperactive lips can result in gingival display, meaning excessive elevation of upper lip during smile or speech

Worn teeth

When teeth are worn, they appear shorter, and the proportion of tooth and gun showing is altered. This is often followed by an overgrowth of gingival tissues and supporting alveolar bone, which worsens the situation.

Altered passive eruption

When teeth erupt and emerge from inside bone and gums, a physiologic natural phenomenon occurs, and the surrounding gum moves in the opposite direction. This is called “passive eruption”. Gum’s apical migration sometimes fails to happen, which leads to short clinical crowns and excessive gingival show. The condition is called “Altered Passive Eruption”.

Medications

Some medicines have chemicals that can cause gum inflammation and gingival hypertrophy as their side effects. The most common medications are anti-epileptic, anti-depressants, and anti-hypertension medicines.

Skeletal discrepancies

In many cases, the underlying factor is positioning and proportion of facial bones, particularly upper jaw or Maxilla.

Short Lips

Most common reasons for gummy smile:
Treatments:

Gingival/Gum re-contouring (gingivoplasty)

Maybe the treatment of choice in mild cases with gingival overgrowth and altered passive eruption. This can be done with a laser or minimal surgical incision.

Surgical jaw bone repositioning

It is recommended in advanced cases in which significant correction required.

Crown lengthening/Gum reduction surgery

This is a very common and conservative procedure in improving the gum display. In this approach, a very careful analysis of the smile and a mock diagnostic up is used to define the amount of gum reduction. The procedure needs to be planned by a prosthodontist, while a periodontist will perform the gum reduction.

At Langley Dental Group Clinic, a team of periodontists and prosthodontists work closely together using evidence based technologies and assessment techniques to provide the most scientific and highest quality of care to clients concerned about their Gummy Smile.

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