Generally, a genuine, bright smile will show most of your teeth, but very little of the gum that lies on top of them. However, with a "gummy" smile -- where four or more millimeters of gum are showing when you smile normally -- your gums show more than normal. People with a gummy smile generally feel a bit uncomfortable, or even embarrassed, but not a lot of people who hate their gummy smile know that there are things that can be done to fix it. If you're suffering because of your gummy smile and want to know what treatment options are out there, then here's what you need to know.
Cut It Out
If your gummy smile is due to just too much gum on top of your teeth, then your fix is relatively simple: periodontal plastic surgery. Before you raise an eyebrow at the name, remember that any surgery that doesn't directly deal with your physical health is called "plastic surgery" or "cosmetic surgery" -- it doesn't mean that it can't help boost your self-esteem or improve your mental health. Periodontal surgery will cut away that excess gum, allowing the true size shape of your teeth to show and getting rid of the appearance of a gummy smile.
Getting Lippy With It
If you have the proper amount of gum-to-teeth, however, your problem may be a naturally short upper lip, which exposes more gum to the eye. In this case, the surgery for you is generally called a surgical lip repositioning, which is pretty similar to what it sounds like: the muscles in your upper lip are inhibited so that they can't make the lip rise as high, and thus less of your gum shows. If the problem is your lip but you don't want surgery, doctors have started using botox injections to paralyze those same muscles, getting a similar effect.
The Tooth of the Matter
If it's neither an excess of gums nor a short upper lip causing the problem, the only other place that could be an issue is the tooth: specifically, the fact that your teeth are too short, whether naturally or because of the erosion of years of wear and tear. For teeth that aren't long enough (or have become too short), dentists can affix crowns to the end of your teeth, bringing them back to their natural length and achieving the proper gum-to-tooth ratio once again. Contact a business, such as Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS, for more information.