Gummy smile (excessive gingival display) is a condition in which a high lip-line exposes an abnormal amount of gingival tissue. Several potential factors could contribute to a gummy smile, including:
- The muscle controlling the movement of the upper lip could be hyperactive, resulting in an upper lip that rises higher than normal. When this occurs, more of the gingival tissue is exposed when smiling.
- An excessive display of gum tissue in your upper jaw can result from the abnormal eruption of the teeth. Teeth covered by excessive gum tissue appear short, even though they may actually be the proper length.
- The manner in which your upper jaw bone grew and developed could cause the appearance of a gummy smile. For instance, if there was an excessive, bulging protrusion of the upper jaw within the gum tissue, you would experience an obvious gummy appearance when you smile.
- The optimal smile line appearance should reveal the least amount of gum tissue possible. Gum tissue visible in the smile line should have balanced, even contours that are in harmony with the upper lip. It is for this reason that many people with a gummy smile or excessive gingival display feel their smile to be unattractive, oftentimes feeling reluctant to smile at all.
Since a gummy smile can have a negative effect on the aesthetics of a smile, one option to correct the gummy smile is by laser. The procedure is done under local anesthesia. There is no bleeding involved and the recovery time is minimal.