Gummy smile or excessive gingival display is a condition where teeth appear shorter due to excessive gum display while smiling.
Gummy smile can be caused by combination of several factors such as:
- The amount of gum tissue display
- The size and shape of teeth
- The length and degree of movement of the upper lip
- The vertical position of the upper jaw and teeth in relationship to the skull.
There are several methods for treating a gummy smile. Bases on the diagnosis one or several of these methods can be utilized to correct excessive gingival display:
1. Periodontal surgery: Crown lengthening to move gingival levels apically, typically performed on short teeth.
2. Orthodontics: Intrudes over erupted teeth and levels them to correct position so that it eliminates gingival display.
3. Orthognathic surgery: Moves the upper jaw to the correct relation to the skull.
4. Lip repositioning surgery: Severs the muscles that elevate the lip so it can no longer rise as far in a smile.
5. Botox: When injected into the muscles of the upper lip, it can to be an effective method to limit the retraction of upper lip while smiling. However, the improvement is temporary and must be repeated every three to six months.