Gummy Smiles

Gummy Smile.Some people feel self-conscious about smiling because they believe their gums are too prominent. Though we each have our own definition of what makes a smile beautiful — including how much gum is too much — a smile will usually be perceived as “gummy” when 4 millimeters (just over an eighth of an inch) of gum tissue shows. If your smile looks gummy to you, it's important to figure out exactly what's causing this. Only then can the appropriate cosmetic dental or periodontal (gum) procedures be recommended to give you a more pleasing appearance of the gums and teeth.

Causes

Gummy smiles may be caused by one or more factors relating to the gums themselves, the teeth, or even the lip or jaw. Each of these areas will require a different approach to solving the problem. Let's look at some of the ways a gummy smile can be corrected:

Gums. If your teeth appear too short in relation to your gums, it could be that they are being covered up by too much gum tissue. This problem can be solved with a periodontal plastic surgery technique called “crown lengthening,” which involves removing and reshaping the excess tissue to expose the full length of teeth.

Teeth. There are natural variations in the tooth-eruption process that can result in shorter than normal teeth and gumminess of the smile. If that's the case, your teeth can be made to appear longer by capping (crowning) them or covering them with thin porcelain veneers. It's also possible that your teeth have become worn down over time, especially if you have a grinding habit. When this happens, it can cause what is known as compensatory eruption. To compensate for the wear and maintain a functional bite, the teeth actually begin to move (or erupt) very slowly outward from the gum. This makes the smile appear gummier because the gums, which are attached to the teeth, move with them as they erupt. In some cases orthodontic treatment can be used to move the affected teeth back up into correct position. Afterwards, the worn-down teeth would usually be restored with porcelain crowns or veneers.

Lip. On average, the upper lip moves 6 to 8 millimeters from its normal resting position to a full smile. If the lip is hypermobile, meaning it rises much farther up, more gum tissue will be revealed. Here the action of the muscles that control the lip will need to be modified so they don't raise it quite so high. Treatment can range from Botox shots that temporarily paralyze the muscles (for about six months), to surgery that permanently restricts how high the lip can move, referred to as a lip stabilization procedure.

Jaw. Sometimes the upper jaw (maxilla) is too long for the face, a condition referred to as Vertical Maxillary Excess. If this is the case, the jaw would need to be repositioned with orthognathic surgery (“ortho” – straighten; “gnathos” – jaw). Of all the treatment listed here, this one is the most complex — but it can achieve dramatic results.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to correcting a gummy smile. However, there are various techniques that can achieve dramatic improvements.

Related Articles

Gummy Smiles - Dear Doctor Magazine

Gummy Smiles Sometimes a smile doesn't look as appealing as it could because the gums appear too prominent. If this describes your smile and it's something you want to change, chances are you can be helped by one of several available treatments. But first your dentist will need to determine exactly why your smile looks gummy to begin with. Find out the various causes and treatments... Read Article

Periodontal Plastic Surgery - Dear Doctor Magazine

Periodontal Plastic Surgery Millions of Americans have some degree of gum recession — a loss of the tough, pink tissue that surrounds teeth. Receding gums can cause anything from minor tooth sensitivity to tooth loss in very severe cases. Fortunately, the field of periodontal plastic surgery has made enormous strides in devising techniques, including grafting, to deal with the problem of lost or damaged gum tissue... Read Article

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "As weird as it sounds, I truly enjoy my time here and love that I always leave having learned something new! Dr. Moody and his wife, Jill, are some of the most genuine people I have ever met. They truly care about their patient’s well being. You can’t help but feel at home and most importantly, at ease when you’re in his chair. I am beyond thankful to have found Anchor Dental and look forward to the years ahead."
    Paige S.
  • "Love love love Anchor Dental!! Dr Moody and his team are the best I’m so happy to have found them!! They helped me out so much with my teeth and educated me on preventative techniques to help with my Recessive gum line and loss of bone. They are always super nice and treat you like family. It took me along time to find a good dentist that I can trust since moving to Anchorage and now that I found Anchor Dental I’m very happy.

    I’m appreciate all they do for me and I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone looking for a dentist who will go above and beyond!!"
    Falon S.
  • "Dr. Moody and his team are the best that I ever been too. Today on February 17, 2021, my kiddos and I have an appointment ."
    Joyce K.
  • "I had a great experience!"
    Chad N.
  • "As always, my visit to Anchor Dental was great. I was there for a cleaning and I was very happy with my result."
    Irene W.
  • "Today was my first dental appointment since Covid and I was reassured and pleased with the mitigation measures taken by Anchor Dental. The teeth cleaning was as usual excellent. Everyone is friendly and professional. I actually look forward to going to the dentist's office!"
    Carol J.
  • "I love this place! They treat you like people. 😀"
    KetoG.
  • "Everyone is wonderful, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Thank you!"
    C O
  • "Friendly and made to feel comfortable and welcome!"
    Aaron J.
  • "Dr. Moody and his staff are the best. The positive and comfortable environment is very welcoming and makes you feel like family. I wish there were 10 plus stars because they deserve it."
    Aileen T.
  • "Fantastic staff with the utmost care and consideration for their patients. Dr. Moody and his team make the whole experience painless with their skilled and compassionate care."
    Chelle W.
  • "Anchor Dental is fantastic. Atmosphere was awesome the husband & wife team was impressive. ,& their love, life story restored my faith in humanity."
    Tagaloa F.
  • "This dental office is fantastic! The hygenist was amazing and took her time cleaning my teeth really well. I have some sensitivity so they provided me with the comfort of some numbing gel. I was very comfortable and happy with my appointment. Dr. Moody is an excellent dentist. He bonded with my fiance while he was waiting for me and seems they had a good chat! All staff was amazing!"
    Holly M.
  • "Dr. Moody was awesome, and made sure that I wouldn't be in any pain. He and his assistant were singing along to the songs playing and were silly enough to take some of the anxiety of having some extractions done away. I'd certainly recommend him."
    Jonathan B.
  • "Great people! Professional and very caring!"
    Pattie M.
  • "The staff at Anchor Dental is amazing! They are so friendly and professional, even my children enjoy going to the dentist!!"
    Lynne F.
  • "As always I was very pleased with my visit to Anchor Dental. The staff is really nice, efficient and professional. They really know what they are doing. Everything is explained to you and Dr. Moody is great."
    Caren A.
  • "Dr. Moody has been my dentist for the past few years. He has helped me eat better through molding and ordering partials. Also, he has a caring staff that really listens to my concerns. I will always recommend friends, family and colleagues to him for the best dental care. Just got a temporary crown, and almost no pain!"
    David S.
  • "I am very pleased with my experience here because I did not see a dentist for years and they made it very pain free and comfortable. The personable and outgoing happy people made it even better."
    Nina J.
  • "5 stars all around. I am glad I found this place and will definitely be recommending this to friends and family."
    Tabitha P.
  • "I was pretty nervous about getting my wisdom teeth pulled but Dr. Moody made it a blast and fly by. They take my insurance too so I will be coming back for my regular teeth cleanings! :D"
    Joshua A.
  • "Friendly, professional staff that welcomes you from the moment you walk through the door. Everyone has a different outlook for their dental care, the folks at Anchor Dental are incredibly accommodating."
    Bryan B.
  • "Walking in you are greeted with a smile. The office staff is more than helpful when needed. Dr Moody has eased my nerves and I now feel comfortable when I need work done. Everyone is very friendly."
    Stephanie N.
  • "I really enjoyed my dental experience here. The dentist and employees were fun, professional, and very caring. I will definitely refer friends and family."
    Kelly S.
  • "Dr. Moody is the best and most genuine dentist professional I have ever been too. I will say that even after I move out of state, I will fly back just for my dental care."
    Donald J.
  • "I wasn't able to get in for the cleaning I was scheduled for but was able to still have an exam & X-rays. Dr. Moody talked with me extensively about my teeth, dental health, & future care. He answered all the questions I had & I never felt rushed. I would highly recommend Dr. Moody & his staff at Anchor Dental."
    Marion J.
  • "I walked into this dental office and immediately felt warm and cozy. They have an amazing and caring staff that will go out of their way to assist you any way that they can."
    Katylyn L.
  • "It was scary at first but it was awesome. Great service, funny and friendly people. They did it with tender, love and care and you’re all appreciated for an awesome job."
    Sia Faasavalu
  • "Excellent service and the people are very thorough with everything. I love working with people with integrity."
    - Gloria Prince