While it doesn’t sound like a technical term, a gummy smile describes a condition where more than 2 millimeters of gum tissue shows in an average smile. Between 10% and 30% of the population fall under this description. It’s not a dental health problem, though it may make flossing less effective. It’s only a problem when you feel that excess gum tissue interferes with your best smile.
The team at RR Dentistry can help you when you want to reshape gum tissue as a way to fine-tune your smile. We’re gum contouring specialists, and we can help give you the profile you want, alone or as part of a smile makeover procedure.
While the 2mm definition exists, it’s really a matter of personal aesthetics that defines when a smile is gummy. The way your teeth erupted as a child may affect the proportion of gum tissue, or there could be irregularities in the movement of teeth or growth of jawbones. Even factors with short or overactive lip muscles can reveal more of your gums.
Some medications can cause gums to overgrow, a condition called gingival hyperplasia. Medications for high blood pressure, immune system suppressants, and anti-seizure drugs can produce this condition.
Gum contours crop up in several situations. Sometimes, patients need gum tissue lengthened after therapeutic periodontal surgery for gum disease.
Gum contouring performed to reduce the appearance of gum tissue is a cosmetic surgery. In most cases, it won’t change the function of your mouth or oral hygiene. Sometimes the reduction of gum tissue eliminates some risk of your gums trapping plaque and tartar below their surface, although that’s not generally a goal for the procedure.
The specific approach to gum contouring depends on your smile. Treatment options include scalpels, dental lasers, or radiofrequency surgery. In some cases, we may remove small amounts of bone tissue.
Like any contemporary dental procedure, anesthetics keep you comfortable. On the day of your procedure, expect to rest and recover after your appointment. Depending on the extent of the work done, it will take days to weeks for your gums to fully heal.
The results of your procedure can be quite dramatic, even with a tiny amount of gum contouring. Results typically last for years, and it’s common that these improvements are permanent.
The best way to learn how gum contouring can help your gummy smile is in consultation with an expert at RR Dentistry. Make an appointment by contacting our office by phone or online. We can’t wait to help you with your smile!