Published: 10/17/2018

A beautiful smile is ideally a balance of teeth and gum tissue. Some people have excessive gum tissue covering much of their tooth surface, referred to as a “gummy” smile. While patients with this condition may still have healthy gums, many feel unhappy with their appearance and ultimately choose to fix their gummy smile in Rockville, MD, with a crown lengthening procedure.

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

The amount of gum tissue that shows when you smile can be the result of several factors:

  • Teeth that do not erupt normally
  • An excessive overgrowth of periodontal tissue
  • Development issues in the jaw bone
  • A hyperactive muscle in your upper lip

Why You Should Correct a Gummy Smile

When you think of smile makeovers, images of teeth whitening or crowns may come to mind. Did you know that fixing a gummy smile is often part of the equation? Your periodontal tissue should be seen when you smile but only to frame your teeth. In an ideal smile, the gum tissue is evenly contoured and appears in a much smaller ratio to the tooth surface. Patients with a gummy smile often feel self-conscious about how they look when they smile, avoiding it altogether.

Fixing a Gummy Smile

Correcting this condition is achieved with aesthetic crown lengthening. The tooth surface is beneath the excessive periodontal tissue; your periodontist just needs to uncover it. The doctor will remove and contour the gum tissue and may remove some bone, revealing more tooth surface. Traditionally, this is performed with scalpels and sutures but some periodontist perform the periodontal gingivectomy with lasers. Patients report less discomfort, minimized swelling, and faster recovery after laser surgery to correct their gummy smile in Rockville, MD.

Interested in learning more about aesthetic crown lengthening and how you can protect healthy gums? Call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven N. Rice to discuss the best method of correcting your gummy smile.

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