Gummy Smiles

Gummy Smile.Some people feel self-conscious about smiling because they believe their gums are too prominent. Though we each have our own definition of what makes a smile beautiful — including how much gum is too much — a smile will usually be perceived as “gummy” when 4 millimeters (just over an eighth of an inch) of gum tissue shows. If your smile looks gummy to you, it's important to figure out exactly what's causing this. Only then can the appropriate cosmetic dental or periodontal (gum) procedures be recommended to give you a more pleasing appearance of the gums and teeth.

Causes

Gummy smiles may be caused by one or more factors relating to the gums themselves, the teeth, or even the lip or jaw. Each of these areas will require a different approach to solving the problem. Let's look at some of the ways a gummy smile can be corrected:

Gums. If your teeth appear too short in relation to your gums, it could be that they are being covered up by too much gum tissue. This problem can be solved with a periodontal plastic surgery technique called “crown lengthening,” which involves removing and reshaping the excess tissue to expose the full length of teeth.

Teeth. There are natural variations in the tooth-eruption process that can result in shorter than normal teeth and gumminess of the smile. If that's the case, your teeth can be made to appear longer by capping (crowning) them or covering them with thin porcelain veneers. It's also possible that your teeth have become worn down over time, especially if you have a grinding habit. When this happens, it can cause what is known as compensatory eruption. To compensate for the wear and maintain a functional bite, the teeth actually begin to move (or erupt) very slowly outward from the gum. This makes the smile appear gummier because the gums, which are attached to the teeth, move with them as they erupt. In some cases orthodontic treatment can be used to move the affected teeth back up into correct position. Afterwards, the worn-down teeth would usually be restored with porcelain crowns or veneers.

Lip. On average, the upper lip moves 6 to 8 millimeters from its normal resting position to a full smile. If the lip is hypermobile, meaning it rises much farther up, more gum tissue will be revealed. Here the action of the muscles that control the lip will need to be modified so they don't raise it quite so high. Treatment can range from Botox shots that temporarily paralyze the muscles (for about six months), to surgery that permanently restricts how high the lip can move, referred to as a lip stabilization procedure.

Jaw. Sometimes the upper jaw (maxilla) is too long for the face, a condition referred to as Vertical Maxillary Excess. If this is the case, the jaw would need to be repositioned with orthognathic surgery (“ortho” – straighten; “gnathos” – jaw). Of all the treatment listed here, this one is the most complex — but it can achieve dramatic results.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to correcting a gummy smile. However, there are various techniques that can achieve dramatic improvements.

Related Articles

Gummy Smiles - Dear Doctor Magazine

Gummy Smiles Sometimes a smile doesn't look as appealing as it could because the gums appear too prominent. If this describes your smile and it's something you want to change, chances are you can be helped by one of several available treatments. But first your dentist will need to determine exactly why your smile looks gummy to begin with. Find out the various causes and treatments... Read Article

Periodontal Plastic Surgery - Dear Doctor Magazine

Periodontal Plastic Surgery Millions of Americans have some degree of gum recession — a loss of the tough, pink tissue that surrounds teeth. Receding gums can cause anything from minor tooth sensitivity to tooth loss in very severe cases. Fortunately, the field of periodontal plastic surgery has made enormous strides in devising techniques, including grafting, to deal with the problem of lost or damaged gum tissue... Read Article

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

The office is open alternating Wednesdays and Fridays!

Primary Location

Monday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "This dental office rocks! Dr. M. & all her staff are knowledable, professional, & all very friendly."
    Lisa Griffith
  • "The entire staff at Ahh Dental are amazing. From the moment you walk in to the treatment area and checking out. Dr. Moreschini is very nice and makes sure patients are comfortable with any treatment. I would recommend everyone and anyone to Ahh dental!"
    Stephanie Lovato
  • "Excellent service and a great staff."
    Herman Lujan
  • "This team is awesome! Each and every one of them are present when you are talking and they explain everything in a language you can follow. They each have a heart of gold. I recommend then to all. I will never go anywhere else for my dental care."
    Regan Rezac
  • "Dr. Moreschini is not only intelligent, well-versed, articulate in diagnosis as well as treatment, but kind and gracious in her treatment administrations. I knew, a year ago, Ahh Dental would be my dental home. I’m even more vested now as a patient but also as a “family member” to this exceprional team of people who strive to provide the best outcome for their patients. Thank you, Ahh Dental"
    Sabine Stanley
  • "I loved this dental office. When I moved away from Santa Fe, I was sincerely sad because it also meant saying goodbye to a dentist I could trust!"
    Jennifer Quick
  • "The patient comes first. The front desk, hygienist and dentist all work together to get you in the healthy zone. The office seems to be run professionally with all the insurance processes integrated."
    John Urbanowski
  • "Best dentist and caring staff."
    Yvonne Vigil
  • "From the front staff to my dental hygienist, everyone was so friendly and personable. Ahh Dental made me fill at ease and that my concerns were important. Very efficient, awesome experience."
    Barbara
  • "I visited Ahh Dental for the first time earlier today and it was one of the most positive experiences I've had at a dental office. I am actually looking forward to my next appointment. Everyone was extremely pleasant and attentive. If you are new to town, or just looking for a new dentist I highly recommend Ahh Dental."
    Kelse Lighthizer
  • "Amazing place! Amazing staff! Everyone that works there is so friendly and down to earth. Honestly wish I could come back all the time I enjoy it so much. Went above and beyond, very highly recommended!!"
    Jordan Higgins
  • "One of my top dental experiences. Everyone was very kind, knowledgeable, and professional."
    Diann Darnall
  • "Highly recommend Ahh Dental. Dr Moreschini is one the the best Dentist who is not only professional but cares about her patients and their well being. She has an excellent staff who are very helpful and also very professional!!"
    Marcella Sandoval
  • "This place is great! Super friendly and welcoming staff! I actually enjoy going to the dentist here! Really recommend them!"
    Oscar Rivera
  • "Dr and staff are the best! Always professional and friendly. They’re current about best dental practices, and the best thing? They don’t nickel and dime you to death. Love them!"
    Susan Miera
  • "Ahh Dental has a wonderful atmosphere and an awesome staff. My appointments and procedures have all been very pleasant and professional - thank you Ahh Dental for my happy teeth and big smile."
    Cherie Hughes
  • "It’s a pleasure sitting in Dr. Moreschini’s chair. She’s a stellar graduate of Creighton and a wonderful reminder of the Marquette University dentists I had for thirty years. She is always a pleasure to work with, efficient and excellent at pain prevention and management. This young woman is my third dentist in three years in Santa Fe. Unquestionably the best."
    Mark Janssen
  • "I'm so glad that I found Dr Renae. She's great to work with . Feel very at ease with her and her staff. Great people. Highly recommend her. Thanks Dr."
    John Vigil
  • "Very clean, conscientious about Coronavirus. Prompt, friendly, quality work"
    Victor Nelson
  • "I had a wonderful experience at Ahh Dental. Everyone was truly kind and professional. Everything was explained to me beforehand and they made sure I was comfortable and felt at ease. Dr. M.and her staff truly care about their patients. Thank you for making my dental appointment a positive one."
    Georgina Perez
  • "Excellent Ahh Dental was very professional and provided me with great care . You can definitely trust Doctor and staff. Procedures were pain free and the work that had been done is excellent you can not get any better service than that."
    Virginia Salazar
  • "Never had a more comprehensive exam and cleaning by dentist and Roxanne, the hygienist. They fortunately found two cavities that two other dentists had missed altogether.!!! a VERY BIG DEAL. also had to have a molar pulled and Dr. Moreshini was so skilled that I didn't even feel it at all! I learned so much from Roxanne about how decay happens, how to prevent tooth decay, how to effectively and affordable whiten my teeth.

    Amazing clinic... Everyone should experience this attention and care for their oral health care."
    Claudia Wolfe