Gummy Smile: Excessive Gum Can Also Be Disturbing

With a gummy smile, the patient shows a disproportionate amount of gum when smiling, which is often perceived as aesthetically disturbing. Several causes are possible: Often, the gum covers too much of the tooth crowns and makes them appear too short. Sometimes, there is also a too short upper lip or a too long midface. In many cases, periodontal surgical correction can provide relief. The excess tissue is gently and painlessly removed with a laser, restoring a harmonious tooth shape. In some cases, in a minor procedure, the bone at the gum line must also be corrected to achieve a permanent result.

In cases of Gummy Smile due to a too strongly movable upper lip (hypermobile upper lip, which goes too far up when laughing and exposes too much gum), surgical correction can sometimes help, with the upper lip being shifted slightly downwards to create a harmonious picture when smiling.

See the treatment of a patient with Gummy Smile in the video here:

Gum recession with periodontitis

In case of advanced periodontitis,  bone loss causes visible recession of the gums. The resulting aesthetic problems can be severe: Unsightly black triangles become visible between the teeth, and the too long teeth and exposed brown root portions are also bothersome. Occasionally, phonetic impairments occur (disturbance of speech) as the air passes unimpeded between the front teeth.

If too much bone has already been lost, reliable results can usually no longer be achieved with surgical gum restoration. In many cases, the "black holes" can be closed by providing appropriately shaped ceramic crowns or veneers or - minimally invasive - by widening the teeth with composite.

Case study

49-year-old patient with healed periodontitis. The black holes between the teeth caused by the tissue loss bothered the patient very much. Since surgical tissue restoration was no longer possible, an acceptable solution could be created with appropriately shaped full-ceramic crowns.

Gum mask: The removable solution

In the case of large gum defects, e.g. due to advanced periodontitis, a removable gum mask is often the only solution. After taking an impression, a wafer-thin gum-colored mask made of plastic is made in the dental laboratory that fits precisely to the teeth. The wearing comfort of this gum mask (also called "epithesis") is very good for the patient. Aesthetics and phonetics (speech) are also significantly improved. For dental hygiene, the mask can simply be removed and then reinserted.

In particularly severe cases of bone and gum loss, functional and aesthetic restoration is only possible with implant-supported dental prosthetics.

View more pictures in our Dental Aesthetics Gallery.