Causes for a Gummy Smile

Possible Causes for a Gummy Smile and Should you be Worried?

Are your gums showing too much when you smile? If you searched the internet for this article, chances are you are worried that your smile is off because your gums should be hidden and not visible. If you have these concerns, then you could be suffering from what is known among dentists as excessive gingival display, known among those who aren’t used to "doctor speech" as a "gummy smile." This need not be alarming and might be due to absolutely no fault of your own. A gummy smile may only be a problem if you think it is making you conscious and you don’t like how it looks. However, if it is causing you any sort of discomfort, we advise a visit to your dentist.  Here are some reasons why you might have a gummy smile:

Genetics and Body Anatomy

Your body's anatomy and genetics can be one of the most common causes of a gummy smile. The human body is unique from person to person. Many physical factors can contribute to your smile being gummy, like having small teeth, an upper lip that is too short or hyperactive (meaning it lifts very high when you smile and exposes a lot of gum tissue), and so on. Additionally, some hereditary illnesses can cause a slow but progressive enlargement of your gums. A gummy smile can also arise from a hormonal imbalance in your body that is likely part of natural changes in your body like puberty or pregnancy.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Just as it may not be your fault or be a matter of much concern, the opposite might also be true. A gummy smile can also be the result of continued neglect and bad oral hygiene. Gummy smiles may also occur from overgrown gums getting red and inflamed from a lack of care. In this case, your gummy smile will also usually be accompanied by discomfort and pain. Another reason could be bacteria or food particles stuck beneath your gum tissue. The accumulation of these particles can lead to overgrown gums, which in turn end up causing gum inflammation.

Altered Passive Eruption

Hold your horses for a minute and don’t go thinking about volcanoes when you hear the word "eruption." A tooth eruption is basically your teeth growing out of your gums. Sometimes, when certain teeth do not grow out properly, a condition known as Altered Passive Eruption (APE) takes place. This happens when excessive gum tissue overlaps your enamels, giving you the sensation of “hidden teeth." Your gummy smile may be caused due to APE, but despite the technical names, it does not pose a health risk to you and only affects the aesthetics of your smile.

Should I be worried?

There can be multiple causes for a gummy smile, and there are multiple ways to fix it as well. The first thing to do would be to understand the reason for your gummy smile. If your smile is making you feel self-conscious or causing you discomfort, we recommend visiting your dentist.

We’ve got you covered in Gilbert

If you’re in the Gilbert area and concerned that your smile is too gummy, get an appointment with us at Parkview Dental. Our cosmetic dentistry services may be the answer you need.

Dr. Brandon Schmidt | 10-November-2022

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