Franklin County Periodontics & Implant Specialists
before and after of a gummy smile

Can You Correct a Gummy Smile?

Excessive Gingival Display

The dental world refers to a gummy smile as an excessive gingival display. This phenomenon occurs for a number of reasons and results in showing more gum tissue than normal when you smile.

There are several causes of gummy smiles, including a short top lip, a top lip that moves too much when you smile, vertical maxillary excess (VME) (or a long mid-face), gingiva (the gums) extending beyond the natural margins of your teeth, short teeth, or your teeth continuing to over-erupt due to teeth grinding or bite changes.

Additionally, gingival hyperplasia is a possible cause of gingival overgrowth. Gingival hyperplasia causes the gums to grow more quickly and in more significant amounts than usual due to genetics, medication reactions, inflammation, or changes in your health.

If you experience this oral problem, you are not alone! We understand that gummy smiles can impact your confidence. Luckily, there are ways to correct excessive gingival display and give you a smile you have always dreamed of!

Correcting Gummy Smiles With Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a procedure used to correct excessive gingival displays. If you decide to inquire about fixing your gummy smile with crown lengthening, your general dentist will refer you to a periodontist.

When you visit us, we will examine your teeth to determine if you are a good candidate and if a crown lengthening procedure can help you meet your oral health goals. If together we decide you are eligible for crown lengthening, our dental team will develop a customized procedure specific to your unique smile!

Crown Lengthening: Procedure

Shortly after your consultation, you will return to our office to have crown lengthening treatment done. There are different types of crown lengthening procedures, including gingivectomies and anatomic crown lengthening.

During a gingivectomy, the extra gingiva is removed surgically under local anesthesia. After the anesthetic takes effect, we will remove portions of gum tissue to give your teeth a longer appearance. During an anatomic crown lengthening procedure, extra bone may be removed, along with the gingiva, for a long-term solution in people with extra bone around their teeth.

Depending on your treatment needs, we may add stitches that will hold the remaining gums in place around the teeth. Following the procedure, the treatment area will be cleaned with saline solutions.

Crown Lengthening: Recovery

After your procedure, you may experience minor swelling, discomfort, or bleeding. We will lead you through the recovery process and provide detailed post-operative instructions, including how to reduce discomfort and swelling. We may recommend post-op instructions such as:

  • To minimize swelling and discomfort, we recommend using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. While you are in the office, we will recommend dosages and schedules that are right for you.
  • Be careful what you eat or drink after your procedure. Soft foods, such as yogurt, eggs, pasta, or oatmeal, are desirable for two to five days after your procedure. We also recommend cool foods to avoid causing bleeding and avoiding salty or spicy foods, which can cause discomfort in the area.
  • Avoid disrupting the area. Common activities that can disrupt the area we recommend avoiding are brushing and flossing the surgical site, drinking alcohol or carbonation, smoking, and using a straw.
  • Practice positive oral hygiene habits. In all untreated locations, brushing and flossing should be performed as usual. Keeping the rest of your mouth as clean as possible can help you heal faster!

Our team wants you to have the best healing experience possible! If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact us.

Boosting Periodontal Health at Four Rivers Periodontics and Implant Specialists

At Four Rivers Periodontics and Implant Specialists, we use cutting-edge technologies to give you the highest quality of care. Dr. Scully is a highly skilled periodontist who is up-to-date on the latest oral treatments.

To learn more about our crown lengthening services and get started on correcting your gummy smile, contact us online or call our compassionate staff at (636) 242-6450 today!