I’d heard there are treatments for gummy smiles these days. I’ve always hated mine and wanted to do something about it but the two options my dentist gave me were either scary invasive or crazy expensive. The first option he gave me was porcelain veneers, which he said would fix my gummy smile along with “all the other flaws” in my smile. Not only was that a tad insulting, but the price was astronomical. The second option he gave me was gum contouring, which he said he does with lasers. That idea gives me hives. Is there another option that is not as invasive?
Generally, the best treatment for you will depend on the cause of your gummy smile. There are more than people realize.
Causes of Gummy Smiles
- Big Gums. This one is obvious. You have normal-sized teeth, but longer gums.
- A puny upper lip. Some people just have tiny upper lips, so when they smile you see more gum than you would with a longer lip.
- Medical Gingival Hyperplasia. This is when either a medication, poor dental care, or a medical condition causes the overgrowth of your gums.
- Hyperactive muscles. This is when your lip tightens up more than normal giving you a gummy appearance.
Comparing Some Options
While porcelain veneers are a great option for a smile makeover and can also repair a gummy smile, if you are otherwise happy with your smile then it is not a good investment for you. This is a better option for someone who was looking for a complete smile makeover. If I am reading you right, that is not what you are after. You want to fix this one issue. So, in that case, don’t invest the money in porcelain veneers.
The laser procedure is not as scary as it sounds, but is not your only other option. A very simple thing you can do, depending on the cause of your gummy smile, believe it or not is Botox. Botox has been successfully used in treating gummy smiles. This is for someone whose lip comes up too tightly when they smile. Using the Botox relaxes the upper lip thereby giving them a more natural looking smile.
There are other options as well such as, orthodontics, root planing, crown lengthening, and even orthognatic surgery. Which of these is useful to you depends on the cause. You asked for the least invasive and that would be Botox.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.