What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Gummy smile in Green Lake

Everyone wants to feel attractive when they smile. However, many people feel as if their smile is a bit too gummy. This can reduce your confidence and make you feel less comfortable about showing off your teeth. You may feel like you’re alone, but it is actually estimated that approximately 10% of young adults consider their smile to be gummy. There are many reasons why this occurs, but you aren’t necessarily stuck with it. Read on to learn more about the causes of a gummy smile in Green Lake and what your cosmetic dentist can do.

What Is a Gummy Smile?

There is no actual definition of a gummy smile. It is simply determined by looking at your mouth and judging the gum to teeth ratio for yourself. Generally, a gummy smile means having more exposed gum tissue than the average person. 3-4 millimeters of exposed gum tissue is generally considered disproportionate. However, your perception can be determined by the following:

  • Height of the teeth
  • Shape of the teeth
  • Movement of the lips
  • Angle of the jawbone

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Any of the following could contribute to what some may call, a “cosmetic issue:”

  • Tooth Growth: Everyone’s permanent teeth grow in differently. If your gums are covering more of your teeth’s surface, this is known as “altered passive eruption.” If your teeth grew in too far, your gums may have too. There are all sorts of genetic conditions that can contribute to the development and growth of both your gums and teeth.
  • Medication: Some drugs, especially those intended to prevent seizures, lower blood pressure, and suppress the immune system, can cause gingival hyperplasia. This is when they grow too much around the tooth.
  • Lip size: If you have a smaller upper lip, more of your gum tissue may be exposed when you speak, laugh, and smile.

How Can a “Gummy Smile” Be Treated?

The good news is that if you are self-conscious about having a gummy smile, there are things that your cosmetic dentist in Green Lake can do to help you achieve your smile goals. Gum contouring is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves removing excess gum tissue in order to reveal more of your tooth’s structure. Your dentist uses a soft tissue laser in order to provide more precise results. This in minimally invasive and allows for a quick recovery.

“Gummy” smiles are quite common, but if it is bothering you, talk to your dentist about possible solutions. By working with them, you can begin making steps towards your smile goals!

About the Author

Dr. Amin Tabatabaian earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from The Ohio State College of Dentistry before completing a General practice Residency at Forum Health Hospital in Youngstown, OH. He is currently a member of the American Dental Association, Washington State Dental Association, King County Dental Society, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. For more information on gum contouring or to schedule a consultation, visit his website or call (206) 207-0619

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