Gummy Smiles

San Francisco Dentist Serving San Rafael, Oakland, Berkeley &
Nearby Bay Area, California

Cosmetic dentistry couple laughing San FranciscoYour smile is quintessentially you. But there may be aspects you'd like to change. At the DENTAL STUDIO, we're all about making it possible for our guests to enjoy tip-top oral health and the smile of their dreams. If the gum tissue surrounding your smile is excessive or uneven, then gum contouring may be right for you. To learn more, please arrange a consultation with experienced cosmetic dentist Dr. Jarrod Cornehl in San Francisco by calling (415) 392-5025.

What's a Gummy Smile?

An attractive smile has certain characteristics we all seem to recognize. White and straight teeth are two such characteristics. The proportion of gum to teeth visible in the smile is another characteristic. According to the New York Times, when asked about which smiles looked normal, dentists, plastic surgeons and everyday people pointed to smiles with two millimeters or less of gum showing. They started taking notice of gum tissue at three to four millimeters, and said more than four millimeters was too much gum tissue.

A gummy smile is not an uncommon dental complaint. An experienced cosmetic dentist, Dr. Cornehl can determine if there is a way to create the look you want. The right treatment depends on why the smile looks too gummy, which may be attributable to one of the following:

  • Short upper lip
  • Hyper-lifting of the upper lip (more on this in the sections below)
  • Excess gum tissue
  • Small teeth

After examining your mouth, Dr. Cornehl can discuss the treatment options with you.

Laser Gum Contouring

Man laughing after cosmetic dentistry for a gummy smile in San FranciscoLaser re-shaping is a common treatment. You may have also heard this referred to as a "gum lift." It is best-suited to gummy smiles caused by excess gum tissue. Lasers are also appropriate for treating a gum line that is uneven. The laser energy vaporizes targeted tissue, eliminating it permanently. Using a laser instrument, Dr. Cornehl will selectively reduce gum tissue, creating an even gum line and therefore improved smile symmetry.

Lasers by their nature prevent bleeding as they ablate tissue. This cauterization makes for a less invasive, more efficient treatment with minimal downtime.

BOTOX® for Gummy Smiles

Believe it or not, BOTOX® injections can be a great option if you feel your smile is too gummy. BOTOX® works well for gummy smiles caused by hypermobile lips.

What are hypermobile lips? If your lips pull back excessively far when you smile, it is known as hypermobility. You may feel like too much gum tissue shows when you smile if your lips are hypermobile.

BOTOX® administered in precise locations will create a natural, relaxed smile. The active ingredient in the injectable prevents excessive contraction of the muscles that draw your upper lip up and back. Every time you smile your smile will look more natural. The effect is temporary, and injections will need to be re-administered about 8-12 weeks to maintain the results.

Your Consultation in San Francisco

Want to find out if you are a good candidate for gummy smile treatment? If so, please call the DENTAL STUDIO at (415) 392-5025. Our state-of-the-art practice is located in San Francisco. We proudly provide care for people from across the Bay Area, including Oakland, Berkeley and San Rafael.