WHAT IS GUMMY SMILE?
A Gummy smile occurs when there is excessive gingival (gums) display while smiling. It is a very subjective concept. Usually gum display of more than 3 to 4 mm is interpreted as gummy smile.
Some people may be extra conscious of this condition while some may try to avoid smiling wide or smile with a closed mouth to hide their gums.
WHAT CAUSES A GUMMY SMILE?
An ideal smile needs the gums, teeth , bones and lips to be in harmony and of the correct size and shape. Any disruption in the proportion may cause deviation from the ideal smile line.
It is a common unaesthetic clinical condition, which can be caused by an
- Abnormal dental eruption(delayed passive eruption),
- Excessive vertical growth of the maxillabone,
- Over-eruption of the maxillary anterior teeth, or
- Hyper function of the upper lipelevator muscle,
- A combination of the above described factors.
HOW DOES YOUR DENTIST DIAGNOSE IF YOU HAVE A GUMMY SMILE?
Smile line assessment is important to determine the treatment of Gummy Smile.
Proper assessment of the parameters involving the gums, teeth, bones and lips in relation to the position and function is done.
Proper elaborate history needs to be taken so as to know the time of occurrence and recognization of the condition by the patient.
Study models and radiographs help to assess the structural relationship of the bone and teeth.
MANAGEMENT OF GUMMY SMILE.
- Gingival contouring / Gingivectomy: Reshaping or excision of the excessive gingival margin can be done using LASER , Thermo excision or conventional surgical method.
- Apical repositioning of the Gingiva
In some cases apical repositioning of the entire soft tissue component may be necessary.
- Orthodontic rehabilitation of teeth (Braces)
If incorrect teeth position is the cause of gummy smile it can be corrected with braces treatment.
- Surgical correction
In cases of gummy smiles due to excessive growth of the jaw bones; maxillofacial surgical correction may be necessary.
- Lip repositioning/Lip contouring
Deficit lip height can be corrected surgically.
- Lip Rehabilitation
This is done to reduce the muscular hyperactivity of the muscles associated with the lip, it restricts the contraction of the lips while smiling which in turn helps in reducing the amount of gums exposed while smiling.
- Use of Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX)
To reduce the muscular hyperactivity of the lip by reducing muscle contraction.
- Use of Prosthetic teeth / Crowns
Crowns or veneers can be used to correct the shape and size of the teeth to make it look more esthetic.
The complete correction of Gummy Smile usually needs a multi disciplinary approach. Which can be best suggested by your dentist.
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