Miami – Gummy Smile Correction

Typically, when we think of a movie-star’s smile we visualize a set of straight, bright-white teeth with a minimal amount of gingival tissue (i.e., gum tissue) showing and contours that appear balanced with his or her upper lip. This universal vision of the ideal smile can cause people who have a less than perfect set of teeth and gums to feel insecure about the way their smiles look. The good news is that technological advancements in the dental industry have now provided patients with less-invasive options to address many of the dental issues that previously required invasive surgical procedures with long, painful, recoveries. One issue that can be addressed using these advanced procedures includes gingival hyperplasia (i.e., overgrown gum tissue). A condition that causes an individual to have a ‘gummy smile’ or a ‘gummy-looking smile.’

Why Do I Have a Gummy-Looking Smile?

For the most part, a gummy smile is caused by an overgrowth of the gingival tissue around the necks of the teeth, a short lip and small teeth. Individuals who have this excess gum tissue may think that their only option is to undergo a surgical procedure for gummy smile correction; however, this is not necessarily the case.

Other names that are frequently used to refer to this condition include:

  • Gum enlargement.
  • Gingival overgrowth.
  • Hypertrophic gingivitis.
  • Hypertrophy.

What Causes the Gingival Tissue to Overgrow?

The overgrown tissue frequently occurs as a side effect caused by a prescription medication the individual is taking or due to poor oral hygiene practices. In addition, the tendency of gum tissue to overgrow can be inherited (i.e., hereditary gingival fibromatosis – HGF) or there could be a systemic cause for the condition.

-Prescription medications

Common prescription medications that are known to cause drug-induced gingival overgrowth (DIGO) include:

  • Immunosuppressants (e.g., tacrolimus, cyclosporin).
  • Antiseizure medications (e.g., primidone, vigabatrin).
  • Medications used to treat heart-related conditions, including calcium channel blockers (e.g., nifedipine).
  • Drugs used to treat high blood pressure (e.g., amlodipine).

If an individual is experiencing DIGO, once he or she stops taking the medication that is causing the overgrowth, gummy smile correction occurs naturally.

-Poor oral hygiene leading to inflamed gingival tissue

A gummy-looking smile can be the direct result of swollen gingival tissue. This inflammation is frequently caused by the sticky film (i.e., biofilm) that is constantly being created in the mouth: This biofilm is the waste product the bacteria release as they feed.

The sticky film adheres to the teeth, the bacteria stick to it, continue feeding on the food particles and releasing their waste. It is this waste that damages the hard, protective covering of the teeth (i.e., enamel).

If the plaque is not removed within 24 to 72 hours, it hardens into calculus (i.e., tartar), which can only be removed by a dental professional.

This plaque and tartar irritate the gingival tissue, leading to inflamed, red, tender gums that easily bleed. In the early stages, implementing good dental hygiene practices that include daily brushing and flossing can help remove additional plaque before it becomes tartar, alleviating some of these symptoms.

-Hereditary gingival fibromatosis

This is a rare genetic condition that causes a slow, progressive enlargement of the gingival tissue. Although this condition often begins during childhood, it frequently goes unnoticed until the individual becomes an adult.

The overgrowth from HGF occurs due to an overproduction of collagen. Sometimes, as the gums grow, they will cover large sections of a tooth or even the entire tooth.

-Systemic causes

The other causes of overgrown gum tissue are physiological. Certain diseases, hormonal imbalances and even pregnancy can trigger gingival hyperplasia.

Conditions and diseases known to cause gingival overgrowth include:

  • Anemia.
  • Vitamin deficiencies.
  • Diabetes.
  • HIV.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Crohn’s disease.

After treating the physiological cause of the overgrown gum tissue, gingival hyperplasia usually improves. Also, if this condition develops during pregnancy, once the baby is born, gingival enlargement correction via dental intervention is usually not necessary, as the condition resolves on its own.

The Importance of Seeking Treatment for a Gummy Smile

If treatment for overgrown gingival tissue is not sought, the likelihood of developing gum disease (i.e., gingivitis) increases.

How gum disease affects the teeth:

The bacteria, plaque and tartar may build up beneath the overgrown gingival tissue, as the body’s immune system attacks the bacteria, it also attacks this excess tissue. These irritants wreak havoc on the teeth beneath the gumline and, as the enamel is destroyed, tooth decay accelerates.

If the gum disease is allowed to progress, periodontitis may set in. With each stage of gum disease, the potential effects become more dire. Periodontitis can lead to the teeth becoming loose, which affects the alignment of the teeth and may eventually result in tooth loss.

In some cases, overgrown gingival tissue correction can be accomplished by just improving one’s oral hygiene practices; however, while some patients do require surgical intervention, there are a variety of other minimally-invasive techniques that Dr. William P. Lamas can use to address overgrown gingival tissue at his office in Miami: It is the degree of the overgrowth that determines which treatment option will serve the patient the best.

Besides the Overgrown Gum Tissue; What Are the Other Symptoms of Gingival Hyperplasia I Need to Watch For?

This condition can be quite painful, with two of the most common symptoms being red and bleeding gum tissue.

Other symptoms include:

  • Inflammation.
  • Plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth.
  • Tender gums.
  • Chronic halitosis (bad breath).
  • Pain.

There Are Varying Degrees of Gummy Smiles

There is a gummy-smile scale used to classify the severity of a gummy-looking smile. This scale measures the amount of gingival tissue displayed as a percentage of a tooth’s height. In other words, a gummy smile is classified based on how much gum tissue is visible in relation to the amount of visible tooth there is when an individual smiles. A gummy smile may be categorized as mild, moderate, advanced or severe.

Gummy smile degrees, defined:

  • A mild gummy smile

    – when the amount of gingival tissue revealed as an individual smiles is less than 25 percent of the height of their teeth, they have a mild form of this condition.

  • A moderate gummy smile

    – when the amount of visible gingival tissue upon smiling is between 25 to 50 percent of the height of the teeth, the individual has a moderate form of gingival tissue overgrowth.

  • An advanced gummy smile

    – once the amount of gingival tissue revealed upon smiling is between 50 to 100 percent of the height of the teeth, the individual has advanced gum tissue overgrowth.

  • A severe gummy smile

    – if the gum tissue covers the entire height of the teeth and then some, this is greater than 100 percent coverage and is considered a severe form of this condition. Fully covered teeth are extremely difficult to clean; thus, the chance of developing gingivitis increases substantially.

The tooth eruption process of a child with gingival hyperplasia may be affected.

What Procedures are Used for Gummy Smile Correction in Miami?

Instead of hiding your pearly-whites behind a closed smile, consider seeking gummy smile correction treatment. Dr. Lamas offers numerous procedures to help you regain your self-confidence, many of which are non-surgical and minimally invasive.

The Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure® (LANAP®) Protocol

As a Certified LANAP® Clinician and a Doctor of Medicine, Dr. William P. Lamas is using the Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure® (LANAP®) Protocol for gummy smile correction as well as for the treatment of gum disease at his office in Miami. Using this revolutionary procedure, he can completely eliminate overgrown gum tissue and remove diseased tissue.

How The LANAP® Laser is Used for Gummy Smile Correction

The LANAP® laser is a revolutionary, technologically-advanced procedure that utilizes a specially-designed tool that projects a very slim laser beam, which Dr. Lamas uses to gently remove overgrown gingival tissue.

This procedure is nearly pain-free for the patient. Some patients do not even need anesthetics to numb their mouths prior to their LANAP® treatment with Dr. William P. Lamas at his office in Miami.

The LANAP® Protocol for Gummy Smile Correction

As Dr. Lamas removes the excess gingival tissue and reshapes the patient’s gums, the laser immediately seals the tissue; therefore, reducing the likelihood of infection and bleeding. Once this procedure is complete, more of the patient’s tooth will be visible; thus, providing him or her with a bigger, brighter smile.

Since the LANAP® laser beam is very precise, Dr. Lamas can remove excess gingival tissue for gummy smile correction, without much concern related to damaging surrounding tissues. In addition, since the laser cauterizes the gingival tissue as soon as it makes the cut, the risk of infection is practically eliminated; consequently, lowering the risk of bleeding, which shortens healing time.

Surgical Intervention for Gummy Smile Correction in Miami

When no other options are feasible, Dr. William Lamas may have to recommend surgery for gummy smile correction.

Surgical procedures for gummy smile correction:

  • Soft-Tissue Dental Crown Lengthening

    – this is an outpatient procedure that is performed at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami. Some patients receive a sedative before their soft-tissue dental crown lengthening surgery; whereas, all patients – unless they have had an adverse reaction to, or have an allergy to the products used – receive local anesthesia during their procedure.

    While performing this surgery, Dr. William P. Lamas uses a scalpel to carefully remove the excess gum tissue from around the patient’s teeth. Before closing the tissue, Dr. Lamas cleans the treatment area using a sterile salt water. This is a relatively quick surgery, usually only taking about 60 minutes to complete.

  • Periodontal Flap Surgery

    – this is an outpatient procedure performed at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami. During this procedure, using a scalpel, Dr. Lamas cuts the patient’s gingival tissue in such a way as to allow him to fold it back from the teeth. Dr. William P. Lamas removes any inflamed tissue as well as the patient’s excess gingival tissue. Once complete, he uses stitches to carefully close the gingival tissue, completing the patient’s gummy smile correction surgery.

Benefits of Seeking Gummy Smile Correction with Dr. Lamas in Miami

If you have too much gingival tissue, you may be hesitant to smile and/or laugh out loud. Constantly managing your expressions to prevent your teeth from showing can put a damper on even the happiest, most memorable times of your life. Many of Dr. Lamas’ gummy smile correction patients have expressed that their confidence levels have increased and that they love the freedom of being able to smile and laugh without thinking about pressing their lips together.

What to Expect at Your Initial Consultation for Gummy Smile Correction in Miami

When you arrive at Lamas Dental Specialists, you will be asked to fill out several forms. These forms are very important because they provide Dr. William P. Lamas and his staff with the information they need to ensure you receive the best periodontal care possible; therefore, it is vital that you are candid when answering these questions (e.g., Do you use tobacco?).

Once you are in the examination room, Dr. Lamas may ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have been experiencing them and whether other members of your family have gummy-looking smiles. In addition, he needs to know what medications you are taking. If you have allergies to latex, medications or any other products that are frequently used in a dental office, please let him know at this time.

Dr. William P. Lamas will want to examine your mouth and he may also order a series of X-rays. Once your evaluation is complete, Dr. Lamas will recommend the least-invasive procedure that he believes will provide you with the results you desire.

Recovering After Your Gummy Smile Correction Treatment in Miami

Your recovery time, limitations after treatment and whether pain medication is required or not are all determined by which procedure Dr. William P. Lamas performs.

If you reside in South Florida and you are seeking treatment for a gummy smile, or would like to learn more about how we can help you attain the smile you have always wanted, contact Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami at 305-440-4114 to schedule your no-obligation initial consultation.

Why Patients in and Around Miami Choose Dr. William P. Lamas

Dr. Lamas has proudly served as a leading periodontist to the residents of South Florida for more than 20 years. His caring demeanor, artistic vision and impeccable skills have helped him become one of the top doctors on RealSelf. Patients throughout South Florida trust their smiles to Dr. William P. Lamas because they know he loves to help create the beautifully brilliant, show-stopping smiles they long for.