Classifications of Gummy Smiles
A gummy smile is one where an undesirable amount of gum tissue covers a portion of your teeth. The gum to tooth ratio is what determines the type of gummy smile you have. There are four broad classifications of gummy smiles:
- Mild – less than 25% of the length of your teeth is covered by gums
- Moderate – between 25% and 50% of the length is gum tissue
- Advanced – from 50% to 100% of the total length are gums
- Severe – if the gum tissue is greater than 100%, it is considered severe
Regardless of how much gum tissue there is, if you are unhappy with the amount of gum showing when you smile, then you have the right to have it corrected.
Causes of Gummy Smiles
There are several reasons why your smile might show a disproportionate amount of gum tissue. The cause of your gummy smile will determine the treatment options available. The common reasons for gummy smiles include:
- Abnormal tooth eruption
- Hyperactive lip muscle
- Jaw growth
- Tooth wear
- Gum overgrowth
Often, multiple causes contribute to your gummy smile. In this case, multiple procedures might be recommended for maximum improvement of your smile.
Gummy Smile Treatment Options
With abnormal or delayed tooth eruptions, your teeth may look comparatively small in relation to the surrounding gums. If your teeth really are small, then Dr. Firouzian might recommend building them up with porcelain veneers. If your teeth are normal sized, but your gum tissue is excessive, then laser surgery may be the answer to reduce the gum line.
With hyperactive lip problems, a minor surgical procedure may be used to reduce the excessive exposure of your gums line. Since everybody’s mouth is different, one or all of these treatment options may be necessary to provide you with the winning smile you have always wanted.
These solutions for treating gummy smiles may be used on their own, or may be included with other treatments for improving your smile, sometimes called a smile makeover. Dr. Firouzian can perform any number of treatments to get your smile looking its best, including: