When you were a kid, may have enjoyed gummy bears as a sweet treat.
Nowadays, you can buy all kinds of gummy products — worms, fish, even vitamins.
But there may be one gummy thing you could do without, your gummy smile.
When most people “say cheese,” they flash a big grin with lots of teeth showing. When people ask you to pose for a group photo or selfie, you may keep your lips pressed firmly together.
At the office of Ghina Morad, DMD, this makes us sad. If our patients are happy, we want them to show it, and we want them to feel comfortable when they do.
Through our training and experience in cosmetic dentistry, we are confident that we can help. Call or stop by our dentist office in San Carlos, CA, to learn more about gum reshaping.
More Than You Wanted
We’ve all learned this lesson at one time or another. Just because something is good, that doesn’t mean a lot of it is great.
You may have even learned that because of gummy bears. (A handful can be delicious. A whole bag can cause a stomach ache.)
For better or worse, some people are given more stuff than others. Some people have long fingers. Some people have big ears, and some people have more gum tissue than the average person.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these people. Their bodies are just slightly different in one way or another.
Having too much gum tissue is just one of those things. If that excess gum tissue is bothering you, then we may have a solution for you.
How Gum Reshaping Can Help
Your gums affect the shape of your smile.
When you smile, you could think of your lips like a window frame. It reveals what is inside your mouth to the world.
The location of the frame affects what other people see and what you see in the mirror. Your upper lip may rest well above your gumline if you have a lot of gum tissue. You can change the position of your frame by removing some of that tissue.
We do this with a procedure called gum contouring.
Before we do anything, we want to meet with you first. We need to examine your mouth and discuss your goals. When we have a plan, then we can schedule your procedure.
We use computer imaging to determine what parts and how much of your gum tissue needs to be removed to change your smile into something more toothy.
In most cases, we can complete your gum contouring in an hour or less. The procedure is practically pain-free, but we do offer sedation options for patients who want to be absolutely certain that they don’t feel a thing.
Fixing ‘Short Teeth’
Sometimes fixing your gummy smile isn’t about moving the frame created by your lips. Instead, sometimes we need to change what is visible inside the window.
The reason some people have a gummy smile is because they have “short teeth.” This just means that when your teeth erupted, they didn’t emerge far from your gumline.
From a practical standpoint, the procedure to correct this issue is similar to the one described above. The difference is that we aren’t removing gum tissue to change the position of your lips, but rather to expose more of your teeth.
Other Reasons For a Gummy Smile
Excess gum tissue and “short” teeth may be the most common reasons that people have gummy smiles.
But they aren’t the only reasons. Here are some other possible causes for this situation:
Hyperactive Upper Lip — Think of this as lip muscles that don’t know their own strength. In this case, your upper lip muscles simply pull your lip up too much when you smile. This often can be corrected with a Botox treatment.
Long Upper Jaw — The old way to fix this problem was a procedure in which surgeon would shave part of your jaw bone away. Today, we have a less invasive option. We can use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth and gently move the jaw up to change the shape. This change allows you to show more of your teeth when you smile.
Short Lip — If you have this issue, then your lips may not touch even when they are resting. This can be changed by moving the position of your upper lip muscles.
Let’s See Your Smile
One of the best parts of working at our dentist office is seeing our smiling patients from San Carlos, CA, and the surrounding area.