What Can Be Done About A “Gummy Smile”?

gummy smile

Problems like dental discoloration or a prominent chipped tooth can have a negative effect on your smile. Generally speaking, when people think about poor smile quality, they think about issues with teeth. With that said, some patients will actually have issues because of their gums. Gum tissue forms the backdrop to our teeth. Heavy amounts of gum tissue (a gummy smile) can obscure parts of our teeth while gum recession can leave large parts of our teeth and even our roots exposed. 

If you have periodontal tissues that seem too bulky or that look uneven, you may need a gum lift to make positive changes to your appearance. With a gum lift, you can reduce the prominence of your periodontal tissues, add length to your teeth, and address appearances of asymmetry in your smile. Dr. James Fondriest can explain your cosmetic treatment options following your consultation or exam at our dental practice. Our practice mostly serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs, but we often get patients from all over the United States.

Signs You May Have a Gummy Smile

Have you noticed changes in your smile recently, ones that are causing you to feel insecure? Do your teeth seem smaller or misshapen, even though you have not suffered trauma to them? Though many people look only at their teeth, when examining their smiles, the gum tissue is just as important to creating and maintaining a beautiful smile. Unfortunately, over time, many people begin to notice that their gums seem to have grown, covering more and more of their teeth. This can lead to smiles that look disproportionate or uneven, and often much older than a person actually is, much less how he or she feels. 

Common symptoms of a gummy smile include:

  • Gums that extend more than one-eighth of an inch 
  • The appearance of small teeth
  • An uneven gum line
  • Teeth that appear misshapen due to gum tissue

A cosmetic dentist can help improve the appearance of a “gummy” smile. A gum lift is an excellent way to revitalize the smile!

Gummy smile before and afterHow Can a Gum Raise Help to Improve Your Smile?

In the past, gum lifts could only be done through traditional surgery techniques. Fortunately, modern cosmetic dentistry has made it possible for periodontists to complete gum lifts in a more comfortable way. It requires less recovery time than previous methods. The procedure is done in a regular dental office using local anesthesia. You may ask to be put under. 

So, if you’re unhappy with your smile, talk to your cosmetic dentist about how to best fix your gummy smile. Often a gum lift is the simplest and best way to help you achieve a younger-looking and more beautiful smile.

What Will My Recovery Look Like?

After surgery for a gummy smile, you should rest while limiting activities. Recovery times vary between individuals. Younger patients may recover faster, for example. Full recovery can take anywhere between a few days to a week or more. Dr. Fondriest will give you detailed recovery guidelines that will help you recover quickly. General tips include:

  • Use over-the-counter pain reliever (Tylenol or Advil) to ease pain. Aspirin can cause bleeding
  • Stick to soft foods like pasta, yogurt, and soft vegetables
  • Avoid spicy foods and anything with seeds until your gums have healed completely
  • Follow your dentist’s guidelines on when and how to brush
  • Report excessive bleeding or swelling

Fixing Your Gum Line Can Make Positive Changes To The Way You Look

Your dentist can perform a gum lift to correct many different issues that might be hurting your smile. Problems like an overexposure of gum tissue, or gums that seem to be too prominent or uneven, can be remedied with a gum lift. This procedure involves the safe and careful removal of gum tissues, which can lead to positive changes to how you look. Your dentist will work with you to carefully plan your gum lift before you move forward with treatment.

Your smile is one of the first things people will notice about you. Having a great smile is often associated with attractiveness and even leadership skills. If you are preparing for an important interview or a major personal milestone, like a wedding anniversary, a gum contouring treatment can help fix your gummy smile and help you feel confident on the big day!

Planning Multiple Cosmetic Treatments To Help Make Big Changes To Your Smile

While a single cosmetic procedure can have an amazing overall effect, it can sometimes be beneficial to think about how a follow-up cosmetic treatment can lead to the best outcome. For instance, in addition to having work done on your gums, you may decide you want to address problems with teeth that seem worn down or damaged. A dental bonding treatment can allow you to hide those problems. Once more of your teeth become visible, it may be a great time to explore teeth whitening treatments. Our office offers take-home kits that can be used at the convenience of your home. Our practice is committed to artistic smile design, and we can work with you to see that you love your improved smile!

Learn more About Addressing Cosmetic Issues Caused By A Gummy Smile

Gum contouring can also have significant oral health benefits. Bacteria and plaque reside near the gum line. By removing small portions of your gum tissue, you can increase the surface area of your teeth that can be reached when brushing and flossing. 

Extra gum tissue can seriously hamper your appearance. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, you can enjoy dental care that leads to fantastic changes, and a big boost to your confidence. We proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area. To schedule a consultation, call our office in Lake Forest, IL, today at 847-234-0517.