What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

Gummy smiles are one of the most common complaints that Dr. Alfe gets at her Chicago cosmetic dental office. A gummy smile causes the individual to be self-conscious and unhappy with their smile. In fact, many believe that there isn’t any type of treatment for a gummy smile in Chicago at all.

Luckily Dr. Alfe and her team are more than capable of correcting this cosmetic dental problem for Chicago area residents. In order to correct a gummy smile, it’s important to know the root cause of the problem, and in this instance there can be multiple causes.

  • Excess gum tissue. This cause is mostly genetic and occurs when more than 4 mm of gum tissue are displayed when the person smiles. Excess gum tissue is easily correctable with laser dentistry techniques. Dr. Alfe most often uses laser dentistry to treat gum disease and it is a conservative, relatively pain-free way to fix a gummy smile.  That works best for patients who show only a minimal amount of excess gum.  For those who show a lot of their gums, the other option is periodontal plastic surgery (also called crown lengthening), which involves reshaping the excess gum tissue and bone to reveal more of the tooth.
  • Tooth wear. Many patients understand that grinding or clenching their teeth isn’t good for them, but what they might not know is that down the road it can cause a gummy smile. Excessive tooth wear causes the gum to tooth ratio to change. What happens is your teeth actually shift in order to compensate for the loss of bone structure, but the gums shift as well, causing them to protrude more and become prominent in your smile. This issue can be corrected with Dr. Alfe’s Six Month Smile program followed by porcelain Veneers.

Gummy smile correction procedures at Chicago Smile Spa may also entail Botox treatment. Botox works to relax the muscles in the face, and by injecting a small amount of Botox into the upper lip, it can work to relax the muscles so that the upper lip does not pull tightly against the gums when you smile.

There are multiple treatment options for correcting a gummy smile! Contact our Chicago cosmetic dental office today at (773) 348-2704 to discuss your concerns and options with Dr. Alfe.