GUMMY SMILE CORRECTION: WHEN SURGERY IS THE ONLY OPTION

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DOES YOUR SMILE LOOK LIKE- LESS TEETH, MORE GUMS? IF YES, THEN YOU MAY BE HAVING A GUMMY SMILE.

An aesthetically appealing smile is possible only if the gums are healthy and the gum display is in proportion and harmony with the shape, dimension, color and position of the teeth. Undue display of gums during smiling is considered as an esthetic setback.

Generally, simple procedures like crown-lengthening, gum contouring or botox injections can rectify a gummy smile effectively. In cases where the cause of gummy smile is a short upper lip or an underlying skeletal defect like a protruding jaw, these treatment modalities may not be enough. That’s when surgical correction procedures come into play.

 

  1. Orthognathic surgery– These surgeries are performed on the upper and/or the lower jaw to correct cosmetic or functional defects of jaws. Many a times, these surgeries are combined with the braces treatment also.

 

Gummy smile can occur if the upper jaw bone is more in height or is protruded forth. The correction of bone related defects can be dealt with an effective combination of orthognathic surgery (or jaw surgery) and braces. Hence, an expert team of oral and maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontist is required to produce the desirable outcome.

  • Two most common surgical approaches used for gummy smile correction are namely- Le Fort I osteotomy and Anterior Maxillary Osteotomy (AMO).
  • In case of Le Fort I osteotomy, a cut is made on the upper jaw bone just above the roots of your teeth in such a way that the complete jaw (which means the upper teeth and the roof of your mouth) can be moved as a single segment.
  • The excess portion is shaved off and then the upper jaw can be moved in different directions (inwards/upwards/backwards) to achieve desirable results.
  • The contact between the upper and lower teeth while biting is established.
  • Then, the jaw bone is secured in its new position through plates and screws.
  • In case of Anterior Maxillary Osteotomy (AMO), only the front part of the upper jaw bone is sectioned and the extra bone causing protrusion is trimmed off.

Even though jaw surgery entails a slightly longer recovery time and is on the higher end in terms of procedure and the treatment charges, it still remains the best treatment option for severe gummy smile problems due to the guaranteed phenomenal outcome it delivers. 

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2. Lip lengthening/repositioning surgery– A short lip leading to excessive gum display can be corrected by lip repositioning or lip lengthening surgery. Procedures like V-Y lip closure are performed on the inner side of the lip and can produce predictive results for moderate gummy smile correction. The procedure can take about an hour for completion.

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The lips become more fuller through this procedure and the problem of undue gum display is reduced. The result is a confident smile and a BETTER you!

Correct diagnosis paves the way to the right solution to any complex cosmetic problem. So, you should visit your cosmetic dental specialist to understand what the reason of your gummy smile is and then get personalized treatment plan for the same.