Who comes to mind when you think of a beautiful smile? Is it a celebrity or someone you know? How would you describe that person’s smile?
You are probably envisioning someone with teeth that are pearly white, perfectly straight, and parallel to one another.
Now image that person with a “gummy” smile. For some reason, that smile doesn’t look as pretty.
If you have a gummy smile, you may find yourself wishing for a better smile. Our team at Atlanta West Dentistry can help your smile looks its very best.
Make an appointment to visit our dentist office in Marietta, and we can discuss how we can make your smile better than ever.
Gums Can Change Your Smile
If you have lived with a gummy smile for a while, then you may have been the target of some unfortunate teasing when you were younger. Hopefully, this has stopped now that you are an adult, but sometimes the effects of childhood linger in our thoughts.
You may feel embarrassed to smile. You may hide your smile whenever you can, and this may lead other people to think you are more unhappy than you actually are.
You may be hesitant to share photos of yourself on social media. If you are particularly self-conscious about your smile, you may avoid going out in public, even with family and friends.
Everyone’s lips have a natural resting place when they smile. This isn’t something you can control, but it is something that you can change.
If your natural resting place exposes more of your gums than other people, it can happen for one of two reasons. We will explain what that issue may be, and how we can fix it.
Excess Gum Tissue
Some people have bigger feet than others. Some people are taller than others.
And some people have more gum tissue than others.
When this happens, your lips may rest higher above your teeth than the average person.
When you part your lips during a smile, this “frames” your mouth. Inside your frame, half or more of that could be your gums, thus your gummy smile.
The easiest way to change this is by removing some of your gum tissue. In cosmetic dentistry, this is known as gum reshaping.
From a practical standpoint, this is very similar to how we may treat some cases of gum disease. In both situations, we are trying to remove gum tissue that is causing a problem for our patient.
You’ll be happy to know that we use lasers to perform this procedure instead of a scalpel. As you are aware, a scalpel is a special knife used in surgical procedures. Using a scalpel for gum reshaping would be more difficult on us and on you.
The scalpel is more likely to cause bleeding, which can make the entire procedure more difficult. This can lead to a longer recovery after the procedure is finished.
By using a laser, we are able to remove the excess gum tissue more precisely with little or no blood. This also speeds up your recovery time when your gum reshaping is finished.
When we are done, your lips will rest in a way that reveals more of your pearly whites and less of your gums.
The other reason you may have a gummy smile is because you have “short” teeth. It’s not really the size of your teeth that are the issue, it’s more a question of how much of your teeth emerged from under your gumline when they erupted.
In cosmetic dentistry, the procedure to change this is called crown lengthening, although maybe it should be called crown revealing.
As with gum reshaping, we are removing part of your gum tissue. The difference is the way this changes your smile.
With gum reshaping, we are changing where your lips rest when you smile. In other words, we changed the location of your frame.
With crown lengthening, your lips still rest in the same place. The frame still sits where it always did, but more of your tooth has been exposed inside your lips.
By Happy With Your Smile
We can’t promise you will look like Julia Roberts after you undergo gum reshaping or crown lengthening. But we do know, from our previous experiences, is that you will be happier with your smile.