An alternative name for a gummy smile is ‘excessive gingival display’ and refers to the amount of gum tissue that is visible when a person laughs or smiles. Between 2mm and 4mm is the portion of gum tissue that many perceive to be an acceptable amount to be on show. For people whose gums exceed this portion, it is down to their own aesthetic preference if they consider it to be a concern.
There are a number of reasons for a gummy smile.
Small teeth may be genetic and can often make the gums appear to be more noticeable. In this case, this may have occurred when the teeth were erupting from the gum and remained partially covered. The teeth can also become smaller over time if they become worn down, such as when a person grinds their teeth.
The top lip can contribute to the appearance of a gummy smile if it is naturally short. However for some people, the top lip is quite average in size but lifts too high when smiling or laughing – known as a hyperactive upper lip.
When the actual gums are a factor, it could be that a person is affected by gingival hypertrophy (when the gums are enlarged), or through a concern known as maxillary excess (a condition where the gums bulge due to the overgrowth of the upper jaw).
The cause of your gummy smile will determine the approach that is needed in order to make an improvement. When it is the lip that is the contributing factor, The Facebible could have the solution. Injecting botulinum toxin directly into the muscle of the top lip can help to soften its movement and prevent the lip from rising too far. This in turn reveals the teeth, but less of the gum.
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