The Ideal Gum-to-Tooth Ratio

If you feel like too much of your smile consists of gums, you may suffer from what’s commonly called a ‘gummy smile,’ also referred to as excessive gingival display in the dental world.

Gummy smiles are often genetic and caused by a short upper lip, small teeth or excessive gum tissue. Sometimes, teeth may appear small but are simply hidden under extra gum tissue that can be removed to reveal a more attractive tooth length. What’s not always clear is how much gum display is too much?

Studies show that people generally believe that two millimeters or less of gum should show when someone smiles. When smiles approach three to four millimeters or more, people begin to notice that something looked different. For comparison, the thickness of a nickel is about two millimeters. Stack two nickels and you can visualize four millimeters of gum showing.

You may recall several celebrities that either did have gummy smiles or still do.

In reality, the gum to tooth ratio of each smile is completely subjective. Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus, and Nicole Kidman all flaunt their beautiful smiles without hesitation. However, others like Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck may have been unhappy with a gummier smile and clearly have had them fixed.

Traditional methods for correcting smiles with excess gum tissue showing, are to use a surgical knife to remove the tissue and stitches to allow for healing. This is called gum recontouring. At Arcadia Dental Arts, gum recontouring is done with a laser in a simple, in-office procedure.  Thanks to this innovative technology, there is little to no discomfort and usually no bleeding at all which means the gums can begin to heal instantly.

If you feel like your smile is gummier than you would like, call our office today at (602) 957-9643, and we can help you determine if you are a candidate for gum recontouring.

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