Gummy smiles treatment in Melbourne
Patients come to us from all over Melbourne to our Essendon dental clinic. They want to receive treatment (a gum lift or a gingivectomy) for a gummy smile to become more confident in their smile. Gummy smiles are sometimes also known as gingival smiles. Smiling is something we all do – when we’re happy, when we’re laughing, even when we’re a bit nervous! The gums are as essential to a smile as teeth – but some of us can have a great deal of gum tissue covering the teeth. Having a smile with too much gum results in a gummy smile – this is sometimes known as a gingival smile. Some patients aren’t happy having a gummy smile, and they come to our Essendon clinic to find treatment solutions.
Causes of gummy smiles
Some people have:
- stronger-than-usual lip muscles, causing the lips to pull up high when smiling and showing more gum
- longer and larger jawbones than usual
- a disproportionately-sized upper lip which can show too much gum
- teeth which have naturally erupted further downwards, or their teeth may have worn down over time; both of these reasons can show more gum
- gums which by nature grow over the teeth. Sometimes too much gum tissue grows over the tooth, leaving a lot of the tooth still hiding underneath.
Treatments for gummy smiles
Dentists at our Essendon dental clinic can treat gummy smiles using a range of options. It depends on what our patients want and whether they have multiple factors causing their gummy smiles. We refer to the following treatments as gum lifts or gingivectomies.
Cosmetic Dental Treatment
Cosmetic dental treatment (sometimes called a gum lift) involves minor surgical procedures such as gum laser surgery, lip repositioning, or facial injectable treatments.
Gum Laser Surgery
Gum laser surgery is also known as gum contouring, gum reshaping or a gingivectomy. Gum laser surgery results in removing excess gum to make the teeth appear more prominent. Another reason to have the surgery is to even out the gum line. Our dentists only undertake gum laser surgery after a detailed patient consultation before the procedure. The procedure itself involves no bleeding, minimal discomfort and a healing time of about four weeks.
Lip repositioning is a permanent surgery solution where some or all of the upper lip muscles have their movement restricted. Under local anaesthetic, our dentists remove a small piece of tissue from the inside of the upper lip. Removing the tissue allows this area to be sewn into a lower position. Lip repositioning surgery takes less than an hour for most patients and generally has a recovery time of 48 hours.
Having facial injectables is a temporary solution to limit movement of the upper lip muscles. The compounds in facial injectables last for up to six months. Our dentists administer the injectable under a local anaesthetic, and the medication targets the upper lip muscles. This procedure allows the upper lip muscles to relax, producing a smile that shows less gum.
Jaw surgery is a solution used at our Essendon clinic – it reduces the amount of upper jaw which shows when we smile. Jaw surgery pulls the jaw higher up to reduce the amount of gum tissue seen in a patient’s smile. Jaw surgery is a reasonably intrusive surgery, and it’s something that our dentists will consult with our patients in great depth. If both the dentist and the patient are happy that this is the right treatment, the surgery will proceed.
Some of our patients choose orthodontic treatment. This is the most complex cosmetic dentistry solution for gummy smiles that we use – the timeframe for this treatment is about two years. Our dentists apply braces and orthodontic pins, which get gradually tightened over time to lift the jawline.
Veneers are another cosmetic dental treatment our patients use to correct a gummy smile – veneers increase the length of worn-down, eroded teeth.
If you want to learn more about gum care in general, please visit our page on Periodontal Gum Care.
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before deciding on any treatment, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.