My Blog

Posts for tag: gummy smile

By Anderson Dental
September 10, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure for treating a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when excess gum tissue conceals more of the teeth than is typical. This can cause the teeth to appear short. Crown lengthening exposes more of the surface of teeth by removing excess gum tissue. Dr. Jon Anderson and Dr. Brad Anderson, the skilled cosmetic dentists at Anderson Dental in Fargo, ND, perform crown lengthening to treat gummy smiles.

Crown Lengthening Procedure

Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure for removing excess gum tissue from around affected teeth to reveal more tooth enamel. In some cases, a small amount of bone tissue might also need to be removed from around each tooth being lengthened. After the procedure teeth will look longer and the patient’s smile will no longer appear “gummy.”

To begin the procedure, local anesthesia is first administered to numb the area being treated. The dentist then makes incisions in the gum tissue around each tooth being lengthened. This makes it possible to pull the gums back from the teeth, which exposes the roots and bone. Excess gum tissue is carefully removed. If enough of the tooth is still not visible, a small amount of bone tissue is also removed. Afterward, the treatment area is cleaned and stitched closed.

Additional Reasons for Crown Lengthening

The most common reason for performing crown lengthening surgery is to reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. However, the procedure can also be helpful when preparing teeth to receive crowns or veneers. Exposing more of the natural tooth surface can aid in performing certain types of cosmetic or restorative dental work, such as placing crowns or veneers. The experienced cosmetic dentists at our Fargo, ND, practice can determine if your smile could benefit from crown lengthening.

Crown lengthening is an effective method for reducing the appearance of a gummy smile. In Fargo, ND, the cosmetic dentists at Anderson Dental treat gummy smiles. To learn more about crown lengthening and to find out if it might be right for you, schedule a consultation with Drs. Jon or Brad Anderson by calling our dental office at (701) 232-1368.

By Anderson Dental
August 14, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gummy smile  
ThereAreaSeveralPossibleCausesforaGummySmile

Besides straight and translucent teeth, an attractive smile has another important component: balance. In a great smile, the visible areas of the teeth and gums are in balanced proportion to one another.

But what is the ideal proportion between teeth and gums? Although aesthetic appeal is largely “in the eye of the beholder,” dental professionals typically consider a properly sized tooth to be around 10 mm in visible length. As for the upper gums, no more than 4 mm of tissue should show when smiling. Teeth appearing shorter than 10 mm or the gums displaying more than 4 mm can create an effect called a “gummy smile.”

Fortunately, there are different approaches for correcting a gummy smile, depending on what's causing the appearance of gumminess. Not only are there different causes, but they can be diverse in nature.

Obviously, an actual excess of gum tissue can cause a smile to look gummy—but so can shortened teeth. One possible solution called crown lengthening could help correct either possibility. During the procedure, we remove any excess gum tissue or reposition the gums after reshaping the underlying bone to reveal more of the tooth crown. Worn or shortened teeth can also be made to look longer with porcelain veneers.

A gummy smile could also be caused by a hypermobile lip, in which the lip rises higher than normal while smiling. We may be able to prevent this temporarily by injecting Botox into the lip muscles, which paralyzes them and inhibits their ability to move upward. A more permanent approach is to surgically restrict the upward movement of the lip muscles.

The gums may also seem too prominent if the upper jaw is longer in proportion to the face. One way to correct this is orthognathic surgery, a procedure that moves the upper jaw to a higher position on the skull. This can reduce the jaw profile with the face and subsequently affect how much of the gums show while smiling.

These solutions range from relatively minor to significantly invasive. The first step, though, is to find out what's really behind your gummy smile before taking the next step to make it more attractive.

If you would like more information on improving a gummy smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gummy Smiles.”