The allure of an individual’s smile stems from both perception and aesthetics. When individuals seek cosmetic dental treatment because they are dissatisfied with their smiles, they likely have a real issue. Some people believe that when they smile, they reveal too much gum tissue or that their gums are too visible.

Either there is too much gum tissue, or their teeth appear too small which might indicate that the teeth are not having a good visual impression on others. Gummy smiles are one of the problems that cause individuals to feel self-conscious about their smiles.

Definition of a gummy smile

The truth is that gummy smiles are defined by perception and so it varies from one person to another. However, it has been demonstrated that a smile is seen as gummy when approximately 4mm or more of gum tissue is visible when the individual smiles.

Gummy smiles are exactly what it says: gummy. They arise when the proportions of the gum tissue, teeth, and upper jaw are out of sync. Gummy smiles seem gummy when the proportions of the teeth, gum tissues, and upper jaw are out of balance.

The location of the top lip is also important. Gumminess in your smile is a combination of numerous factors, including the size and form of your teeth, the quantity of gum tissue displayed, the vertical position of your upper jaw and teeth in respect to your skull, and the length and degree of movement of your upper lip.

What causes a gummy smile?

The ratio of the teeth to the gum tissues is at the heart of the problem. Tooth eruption is the active process through which teeth emerge from behind the gums and supporting bone into the mouth. When development is done and the permanent (adult) teeth meet their opponents, it typically ends in maturity (upper teeth meet the lowers in the opposing jaw).

However, the process does not end there. The bone and gum generally shrink back and stabilise in the early twenties in young men and the late teens in females. The ideal crown length (the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line) is around 10 millimetres, which is considered typical. The crown breadth to length ratio is between 75-85 percent, which is likewise considered typical.

Natural differences in the eruption process can cause variations in the typical proportions and connections of teeth to gum tissues, resulting in shorter than normal teeth and a gummier smile.

Changes in the gum-to-tooth ratio can also be caused by excessive tooth wear. Teeth get progressively shorter as they wear.

This can result in compensatory eruption, which occurs when the teeth erupt (advance toward the opposing teeth) extremely slowly to compensate for the wear; it’s your body’s method of keeping a correctly functional bite with shorter teeth.

How to fix a gummy smile

Many individuals are not even aware that there are corrective procedures that can change the look of an overly gummy smile. If a gummy smile interferes with an individual’s confidence and robs him or her from enjoying life to the fullest, or causing that individual great discomfort, it may be time to take action.

Treatment with orthodontics. If your gummy smile is moderate and caused by orthodontic difficulties like a poor bite or minor jaw abnormalities, then orthodontic equipment can assist. Other corrective treatments include Gingivectomy, crowns, veneers, laser contouring, and crown-lengthening surgery.

At Simply Teeth Essex we invest our time, money, and resources in the most advanced dental technology available, ensuring that every patient receives the finest dental care and treatment available.