CAUSES OF GUMMY SMILE
It’s possible the gummy smile has resulted from the manner in which the upper jaw developed. Too much upper gum tissue is present, and in consequence, too much such tissue is exposed when the patient smiles.
A very common cause is that the upper teeth erupted in such a way that gum tissue covers them for too much of their length.
A gummy smile can also result from difficulties with the muscle governing the movement of the upper lip. If the muscle is too active, it can pull the upper lip back too far and expose more gum tissue than is desirable.
Finally, the teeth may indeed be undersized compared to the size of the jaw inherited. Jaw size inherited from one parent and tooth size from another may produce either an excessively gummy smile or generalized recession if the jaw size is smaller and the teeth comparatively are larger in size.
A dental examination will discover the reason for a specific individual’s gummy smile. In all likelihood, this will involve x-rays to examine the jawbone and the roots of the teeth.
Once the dentist knows the precise cause of the patient’s gummy smile, he can refer him or her to the appropriate specialist or specialists for the indicated treatment. A periodontist can reshape the upper gum tissue, but if that alone won’t resolve the problem, the patient may receive additional treatments as well.