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5 Vale Parade, Kingston Vale, London SW15 3PS
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Gummy Smile

What is a gummy smile?

In simple terms, a gummy smile is when one smiles, he or she instead of showing a lot of white dazzling teeth, they show a lot more of the pink gum tissue!

In dental terms, for an aesthetic smile, it’s generally agreed that we should have 1 or 2mm of gum tissue visible when we smile.  A gummy smile is when more than 2mm of gum tissue is on display when a person smiles.

In most of the cases as long as the height of the teeth is much more than the pink gum when a person smiles or talks, it is acceptable to people. But, when this ratio changes in favour of more pink gum showing than the white teeth it can become unattractive, resulting in some people trying to improve their gummy smile.

What factors can lead into having a gummy smile?

A Gummy smile can be caused by:

  1. Having small sized teeth relative to the height of the gum visible, due to genetic factors or excessively worn down teeth.
  2. Having a short upper lip, otherwise known as high lip line.
  3. A hyperactive lip elevator muscle.
  4. Vertical overgrowth of the upper jaw bone, a genetically determined skeletal deformity.
  5. Teeth which have suffered from altered passive eruption.
  6. A combination of two or more of the above factors.

If you present to us seeking treatment for a gummy smile, we will first ascertain the cause of your gummy smile. Identifying the correct cause of the gummy smile is the only way to correctly treat a gummy smile.

One of the commonest causes of gummy smile is the result of small sized teeth or teeth which have suffered from altered passive eruption and as a result, teeth look smaller than they should be. To correct this we can carry out laser gum reshaping or periodontal crown lengthening surgery to increase the height of the teeth and using porcelain veneers to improve the aesthetics of those teeth.

The crown lengthening process involves a surgical treatment to remove some of the bone around the root of the teeth, hence increasing the height of the tooth crown and repositioning the gum level to show less gum. The outcome of this option can be predicted with more certainty especially with the gum final position. But to complete treatment it may take several months and it is contraindicated in smokers, patients with thin gum and poor oral hygiene. It also involves all the complications associated with any form of surgery such as pain, bleeding, swelling etc…

With mild cases, laser gum reshaping can be used to provide a very painless, bloodless, quick and effective way of reducing the amount of gum tissue on display without removing any underlying bone tissue. The advantage of this technique is its simplicity and being minimally invasive. Its disadvantage is that the final outcome may not be as predictable as surgical bone removal and the gum may re-grow.  However it has a good success rate and in combination with some other treatments can be very effective and in many situations is the best treatment option. The position of the gum is maintained by the porcelain veneers and if any gum re-growing takes place it can be removed again.

In situations where the gummy smile is caused by a short or hyperactive upper lip muscle, the gummy smile can be treated with plastic surgery repositioning the upper lip or with Botox reducing the activity of the upper lip elevator muscle. The disadvantage of repositioning the lip is the need for surgery but the advantages is that it is more of a permanent solution. With Botox, it is a much less invasive and simpler solution but need repeating every 3-6 month.

If the gummy smile is cause by small sized teeth or excessively worn down teeth, we usually build-up the worn down teeth with porcelain or composite veneers to restore the teeth back to their former length and height. The patients may also be required to wear an NTi splint at night to stop tooth wear damaging their new veneers.

In cases where the gummy smile is caused by a genetically determined skeletal deformity, where the middle third of the face presents with excessive vertical length, we treat the mild and moderate cases with orthodontic intrusion using Invisalign and the severe cases are treated with Orthognathic jaw surgery and orthodontics.

Before we carry out any modifications to your gum line, we first take photos and impressions of your teeth and provide you with a trial smile. The trial smile shows you a preview of how your teeth could look in your own mouth should you decide to have your gummy smile treated.

At Pearl dental clinic, for those patients that suffer from dental anxiety, we offer Conscious IV Sedation to help you feel more relaxed during your gummy smile treatment. Gummy smile treatment is usually carried out by our Periodontist (Gum Specialist).

We will always provide you with a full written treatment plan so that you are fully aware of the costs involved before we begin any treatment. We have published our fees on our web site, so that there are no hidden costs.

We provide 0% Finance on most treatments allowing you to spread the cost of treatment over a period that suits you. Finance can be arranged within a few hours by sending the completed application form to Dental Finance.

Our Practice is open seven days a week from 8am till 11pm. You can book a consultation with one of our experienced dentists by calling 0208 547 9997 or emailing us for further information or to arrange a consultation.

Latest Patient Reviews

  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Friendly staff, who remember you.

    05/04/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    I am a nervous dental patient but was made to feel reasonably relaxed.

    28/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    DR Ehsan is a very good dentist

    16/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Good customer service

    14/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    My favourite part of Pearl Dental Clinic is my clinician, Dr Ehsan Esfahani. Dr Esfahani is very good at explaining my current status and my future treatment plan (Invisalign Full) he gives me great assurance and confidence that the outcome of my treatment will be as promised in my first consultation - Dr Esfahani is reluctant to make promises that he knows cannot be delivered. In addition to his excellent dentistry knowledge and professional manner Dr Esfahani is a genuinely nice person who is very welcoming, relaxing and a pleasure to have as my dentist. I should also thank Dr Esfahani's assistant and the gentleman on the front desk (Wednesday nights) who are both incredibly polite and helpful during every visit to the practice.

    13/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Value for money

    13/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Great treatment and service provided by the Doctors/Assistants, friendliness of the reception staff and convenient opening hours and flexibility.

    10/03/2014
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    Patience and caring attitude

    10/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Patience and friendliness

    10/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Extended opening hours; dentist available on weekends which is great for working people like myself. Very friendly, helpful and approachable staff. Easy to book/alter appointments. Very professional service. Reasonable prices compared to other dental practises. Would highly recommend.

    09/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    dr mohsen is amazing n really nice mashaAllah

    02/03/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Your expertise and good customer service

    27/02/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Efficient friendly organised excellent opening hours and value for money

    19/02/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Friendly staff

    16/02/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    The staff are very nice, its also clean. I used to have a fear or dental work but I'm slowly getting better as the staff here don't put pressure on you or make you feel bad about your fears, your always just encouraged to try your best. They alway apriciate that you are trying your best.

    09/02/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Good deal with Invisalign. Very good opening hours. Finance.

    09/02/2014
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    Very efficient

    03/02/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    I would like to thank my dentist Vahid Motahar for my fantastic treatment iv been receiving I have always been a nervous patient as I hate the dentist but really wanted braces for some time, when I had my first consultation with Mr Motahar I felt confident he was good so went ahead with treatment. I am now half way through and my teeth are looking great already. I would like to thank Mr Motahar and the team for making this process a much better experience for me.

    28/01/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    No waiting. Very punctual. Easy to get an appointment. Appointment reminders.

    27/01/2014
  • Pearl Dental Clinic

    Very clean practice and friendly staff. Would definitely return in future

    19/01/2014