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Gummy Smile Correction Q&A 
by Kate Brayman, DDS

NYC Gummy Smile Correction by Kate Brayman, DDS

The mouth is home to many of the body’s nerves, so when something wrong is happening to the tooth, the health of the overall body may be affected as well. It is quite common for people to have problems with not only their teeth, but their gums. Based on a check-up and examination, our cosmetic dentist can determine whether the gum or teeth is the underlying cause of any pain or discomfort. Cosmetic gum surgery can be used for both cosmetic and medical solutions. We offer procedures such as gummy smile correction at our NYC office.

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How can cosmetic gum surgery help me?

When a dental professional talks about brushing teeth, they are talking about keeping the teeth clean, but it’s also about keeping the entire mouth clean, and in particular, the gums. Gum health is very important for oral hygiene, and for having the best smile possible. Gums that have been weakened by disease, insufficient hygiene habits, or just bad genetics will lessen your smile and alter your appearance. Gum surgery is sometimes the solution to help with the health of your gums, and also to make them strong enough to help support crowns, veneers, and other tooth protection procedures.

If your teeth have been worn down from grinding or clenching, or if they have decayed over time, then you might end up with what is known as a “gummy smile.” This is when the appearance of your teeth seems out of proportion with your gums, and there is much more of your gums visible than normal. Gum surgery can help reduce the excess gum tissue and get your gum line back to a standard  level. It can also remove any excess bone that might be affecting the gum line as well.

While some procedures use a scalpel, today’s technology has developed to the point where most procedures are carried out with laser treatments. In gum surgery, we can often remove the gingiva, or the gum tissue, if it is experiencing problems caused by bleeding or infection. Occasionally, people may experience gum weakness and bleeding. In this case, the dentist can perform gingivoplasty in order to fix and reshape the gums.

What is a gummy smile correction?

There is no accepted “perfect” smile. All great smiles look different, even if that difference is slight. However, there are certain things that can drastically affect a smile and make it look less vibrant and attractive than you would want. A gummy smile is one of those conditions. You may have seen or even have a gummy smile but do not know what it is called. A gummy smile is when the gums, also called the gingival display, are more prominent than what is common. What constitutes a gummy smile is usually a matter of perception, but generally if there are 3 millimeters or more of gum tissue that is visible, then it qualifies. This affliction tends to be more common with women, but it affects men as well.

A gummy smile can be caused by several things. For one, it could be caused by teeth that have not grown in properly and are still partially underneath the gum tissue. It may also be because teeth have been worn down, either naturally or from grinding, and makes teeth appear small when compared to the gums. Sometimes the issue is related to the upper lip. It might be too high at all times, or it might rise when you are smiling and exposed more of the gums than normal. If you are suffering from gum disease, it might cause gingival hypertrophy, which is when the gums have been enlarged. Another common cause is a condition called vertical maxillary excess, which happens when the upper jaw grows too big and forces the gums to expand outward.

We offer gummy smile correction in NYC. As relayed above, gummy smile refers to the condition where the gum is very exposed when a person smiles. At Dr. Kate Brayman’s cosmetic dentist office, we can treat this condition quickly, painlessly and easily with our laser treatment. Our gum contouring techniques are designed to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible and to avoid the usage of as scalpel whenever possible.

Our dentist can talk to you about your options for gummy smile correction. We will have to closely examine your teeth and gums to see how severe the excess gum exposure is and what might be causing it. In some cases we may need to take a digital impression of your mouth or x-ray images as well to determine the cause, which will in turn determine the course of treatment.

You may be referred to a periodontist or an orthodontist if your gummy smile warrants it. A periodontist can perform a procedure known as crown-lengthening, which involves removing gum tissue and removing any excess bone structure to have more of the tooth visible. Some other treatments for a gummy smile include surgically repositioning the lip, braces for getting teeth into the proper position, surgically removing gum tissue, and repositioning bone through maxillofacial surgery. 

If oral health and the type of gummy smile allow for it, one of the best options is same-day laser surgery on the gum tissue. It is a painless procedure that will reduce gum tissue safely and comfortably without using a scalpel and providing the patient with the best smile possible quickly and easily.

What is a frenectomy?

We can also perform a procedure called a frenectomy, which is done when a patient does not like their gum tissue called a Frenulum. A frenectomy is a procedure to remove frena from the mouth. A Frenulum is a small piece of tissue that restricts motion and is commonly found under the tongue, gum sides, and upper side of the two front teeth. This connective tissue, Frenulum, supports different surfaces and limits movement. There are several frena in the mouth, such as under the tongue that connects to the mouth. There is also the tissue that connects the gum in various spots, and the tissue can link the inside of the cheeks to the gums. This small piece of tissue can lead to discomfort when eating and removing it is a quick procedure.

Reasons for consider a Frenectomy procedure
Difficulty moving your tongue
Frenulum development between incisors which leads to gap in teeth
Gum recession due to lower lip pull from incisors
Gaps in between front teeth

Issues with frena can develop from birth and even carry into adulthood if not corrected. If the tissue connecting the tongue and the bottom of the mouth is too tight, then a baby will have a hard time feeding. As they get older, it might mean that the child has trouble speaking properly. By not allowing the tongue to move properly, the patient will not be able to make all of the sounds that they need to make to speak. 

In some cases, the issue is that the tissue connecting the teeth to the gums gets overdeveloped. This causes gum tissue to push up between the two front teeth. A gap can develop that will affect the smile. Many people think that braces are needed for this condition, when in reality a frenectomy will clear up the tissue and help the teeth to reposition. In these situations, often the frenectomy and braces are used in conjunction to get the desired result, or braces are attempted first, and a frenectomy is the solution if braces do not solve the issue. With kids, this problem can clear up on its own when the baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth. Another situation that can signal the need for a frenectomy is when the connective tissue between the lips and teeth is too tight, causing the lip to be pulled outward. This can cause the gums to be more visible than they should be. 

Our dentist can perform a frenectomy quickly and easily, with as little discomfort as possible. It can involve making an incision to remove the tissue, but it can now by done using a laser. It is less invasive and involves less healing time. If we determine that a frenectomy will help with your issue, then it can take as little as 15 minutes for the entire process. You will most likely have some soreness for approximately two weeks after the fact. This can be managed with pain medication and proper care. Make sure to keep the affected spot clean, and do not touch the area with your fingers.

Can a gummy smile be corrected?

In the past, the main treatment for a gummy smile was jaw surgery. Since this was such an invasive procedure, many dental professionals opted to simply push teeth as best as they could into the proper position through braces or other measures, and let the gumminess remain. Some may not have even offered gummy smile correction as an option. This meant that while patients were finishing their treatments with straighter teeth, their smiles were still affected by excess gums, and they weren’t getting the best results possible. However, with advances over time to treatment methods and technology, there are several options to correct gummy smiles,and patients are getting amazing results and brighter smiles.

How much does gummy smile correction cost?

The cost of a gummy smile correction can vary based on a number of factors. Laser treatments will cost more or less depending on how much gum tissue has to be taken out.

In general, you can expect a gummy smile treatment to cost between $475 and $3,500.

The reason for the discrepancy depends on how much of gum tissue that needs to be fixed. If the treatment is only to repair the area around one or two teeth, then it will not cost as much. However, some patients require treatment all along the gum line, which is more extensive and thus will cost more.

On top of gummy smile treatment, there may be other procedures involved to properly fix the smile, such as a crown or braces. These will be an additional cost on top of the gummy smile treatment cost.

How can I learn more about cosmetic gum surgery?

Gummy Smile Correction New York City

Cosmetic gum surgery is an ideal solution for multiple gum conditions. For more information on what is cosmetic dentistry, how you can get cosmetic gum surgery and gummy smile correction in NYC, please call our cosmetic dentist office at 212-505-0295 or schedule an appointment online. Dr. Kate Brayman and our friendly office staff invite any and all questions.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Kate Brayman DDS, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. Please note we do not participate with DMO/HMO insurance.

kate brayman dds dental insurance providers

Does insurance cover gummy smile correction?

Most insurance plans do not cover what they consider to be cosmetic procedures. However, there are many that do, or they have flexible plans that allow for coverage to extend to cosmetic treatments.

It is unfortunate that gummy smile correction is usually treated as a cosmetic treatment, since it is about more than just looks. Having a smile that you are shy about or are unhappy with can affect your confidence and assertiveness, which can affect your mental health over time.

Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered, and no matter what, find a way to pay for your gummy smile correction so that you can feel confident again.

Kate Brayman, DDS
20 5th Ave Suite 1C, New York, NY 10011
212 505 0295

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