What is involved in Gummy Smile Surgery?

There are many different things about our smile that it is possible to dislike. One common concern that we hear is about excess gum tissue. If when you smile you show a large amount of gum tissue above your top teeth, this is known as excessive gingival display. This certainly doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your smile – it is purely a cosmetic issue. Nevertheless, many people feel self-conscious about the way that their teeth look when they share this gesture with people around them.

Fortunately, there are solutions for just about every cosmetic concern relating to our smile – including excess visible gum tissue.

What causes a gummy smile?

A high lip line is the most common cause of a gummy smile. This occurs when your upper lip moves higher than is ‘normal’ when you smile and tends to be a genetic trait. Other potential causes of a gummy smile include:

  • Abnormal eruption of adult teeth

  • A muscle problem affecting the upper lip

  • Improper growth and development of the upper jaw bone

However, sometimes there is no known reason why one person develops a gummy smile and another person does not. The good news is that it is purely a cosmetic issue and it shouldn’t affect your ability to speak clearly or eat.

What is gummy smile surgery?

Gummy smile surgery is the name given to the surgical procedure that reduces the amount of gum tissue that is visible when you smile. You may also hear of it referred to as gum contouring or gum reshaping. By reshaping the gum tissue, your cosmetic dentist can restore the natural proportions of your teeth and give you a smile that you feel much more confident sharing.

Gummy smile surgery is usually performed under a local anesthetic, so you will be awake and aware during the procedure but will not feel any discomfort or pain. Laser technology is then used to trim away excess gum tissue, reshaping them so that they match the shape of your teeth. Since the procedure is performed during laser technology there is a much lower risk of human error. The laser cauterizes as well as cuts, meaning that there is no need for sutures and healing of the gum tissue begins almost immediately.

Recovering from gummy smile surgery

Immediately after your gummy smile surgery, your gums may feel particularly sensitive and a little swollen. This is perfectly normal, and your cosmetic dentist will give you some advice regarding naturally reducing your sensitivity as well as providing a special mouth rinse which will help to cleanse your mouth during the healing process. You will need to take extra care when brushing your teeth and gums until your mouth is fully healed. Most patients are recovered within 7-10 days of their procedure and are ready to share their new and improved smile with the world.

Surgical gum lift surgery

Laser gummy smile surgery can successfully remove up to around 2mm of gum tissue. However, if you need to have more than 2mm of gum tissue removed to see a significant reduction in the gumminess of your smile, your cosmetic dentist may refer you for a surgical gum lift instead. This is a much more invasive procedure and is often combined with veneers, as the gum is likely to grow back down without them. The healing time for a surgical gum lift can be as much as four months.

If you believe that you have a gummy smile and would like more information about gummy smile surgery, or if you would like to book a consultation with our experienced and skilled dental surgical team, please contact our dental practice in Coral Gables, FL today.