Gummy smile correction

smile is considered a “gummy smile” if a significant amount of gingival tissue (gums) can be seen as a person smiles.  Although a gummy smile is considered a normal variation of human anatomy, many people with gummy smiles are very self-conscious when smiling.  Fortunately, these smiles can be corrected with simple periodontal surgery procedures.

Types of Gummy Smiles

 

These classifications are determined by measuring the patient’s gum tissue as a percentage of total tooth length.  Gummy smiles range from mild, moderate, and advanced, to severe.

Mild Gummy Smiles


If the amount of gum tissue displayed while smiling is less than 25% of the entire length of the teeth, it is considered a mild gummy smile.

Moderate Gummy Smiles


If the amount of gum tissue displayed is between 25% and 50% of the length of the teeth, it is considered a moderate gummy smile.

Advanced Gummy Smiles


If the amount of gum tissue displayed is between 50% and 100% of the length of the teeth, it is considered an advanced gummy smile. ­­­­­­­­­

Severe Gummy Smile


If the amount of gum tissue displayed is greater than 100% of the length of the teeth, it is considered a severe gummy smile.

Gummy Smile Treatment

Correcting a gummy smile can be accomplished by one of two possible simple surgical procedures.

The first procedure is called a Gingivectomy.  Gingivectomies are performed when the amount of gum reduction necessary is minimal such as in mild gummy smiles.  During a Gingivectomy, a minimal amount of gum tissue is removed with a dental laser or by a technique known as radiosurgery.

The procedure is painless, requires no sutures, and the gum tissues usually heal within two weeks.

Surgical correction by radiotherapy

Final results after two weeks

More advanced gummy smiles require more extensive tissue reduction. This is performed by a procedure known as crown lengthening.  During this painless procedure, the gum tissues are contoured around each individual tooth.

The tissue is lifted off the bone and placed in a desired new position. The tissues are sutured into place and allowed to heal for 7 – 10 days.  After initial healing, the sutures are removed.

The newly repositioned gums are allowed to heal for an additional 5 – 7 weeks before any final restorations can be placed.  Following a crown lengthening procedure, further treatment with either porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns will be required to achieve a beautiful new smile.

These final restorations can be completed in just two visits.

 


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