A smile makes strangers feel friendly, friends feel comforted, and loved ones feel happy. It is the foundation of happiness, and a smile is crucial to relationships at work and with friends. A smile that is worn frequently makes people feel warm and genuine. Behind the smile, there is also the theory of cosmetic medicine.
A radiant smile not only requires well-aligned, white teeth and beautiful lips, but also the absence of excessive gingival display during smiling, commonly known as a gummy smile. To understand what a gummy smile is, we must first distinguish between a social smile and an emotional smile. A social smile is a smile that is displayed voluntarily and not influenced by emotions, while an emotional smile is an involuntary smile triggered by happiness.
During a social smile, the length of gum display should not exceed 2mm, and anything above this is classified as a gummy smile. Excessive gum display may create the illusion of shorter teeth, which is not aesthetically pleasing.
There are four main causes of gummy smiles. Firstly, excessive gum tissue growth puts pressure on the upper teeth, resulting in the overgrowth of gum tissue that covers the teeth. Secondly, growth and development problems with the maxilla, or upper jawbone, can cause the jawbone to protrude, which pushes the gum outward. Thirdly, overactive muscles that control upper lip movement may cause excessive lifting of the upper lip, resulting in gum display during a smile. Finally, a short upper lip may result in the inability to cover the gum during a smile.
The treatment of gummy smiles primarily targets the underlying causes. Gum tissue overgrowth and maxillary growth and development issues can be treated by dental or maxillofacial surgeons. The use of botulinum toxin injections can improve the overactive muscles that control upper lip movement. This non-invasive treatment typically lasts three to six months. Surgery can also be performed to change the position of the upper lip, reducing the distance it lifts during a smile. Finally, injecting hyaluronic acid or surgery can correct the short upper lip caused by tissue between the nose and upper lip.
Many people do not display a radiant smile due to their gummy smile. It is important to understand the underlying pathology and receive treatment to regain a beautiful, radiant smile.