My teeth don’t show when I smile: reasons and treatments

If you often wonder “why my teeth don’t show when I smile?”, you are not alone. Many people face this issue due to certain dental problems. Your first point of contact to solve this issue is your dentist who can check why your teeth are not visible. The most common causes of this issue include small teeth, a gummy smile, and a long upper lip area. 

In the table below, you can find the factors that may cause you not to show your teeth when you smile, as well as possible solutions for each:

Problem Position Solution
Small teeth Upper Lengthen your existing teeth
Gummy smile Upper Cosmetic gum reconstruction
Underbite Upper Braces, reverse-pull face mask, upper jaw expander, tooth extraction, jaw surgery
Long upper lip Upper Direct lip lift
Overbite Bottom Braces, dental aligners, jaw surgery

Why don’t my upper teeth show when I smile?

You may be one of those who is always thinking “why don’t my teeth show when I smile?”. Well, don’t worry we’re here to help you figure out why that may be happening. Here are the possible causes why your teeth don’t show when you smile:

  • Your teeth are too small
  • You have an underbite/overbite
  • You have a long upper lip
  • You have a gummy smile

Your teeth are too small

Sometimes teeth do not show when you smile is because of the small size of teeth. It could be that you have small teeth naturally or they lost volume due to damage or wear. Typically, your jaw structure tends to lose bone density which can lead to smaller teeth. Your best bet in such a situation is to seek help from a proper orthodontist or cosmetic dentist.

You have an underbite/overbite

Malocclusion is another possible reason why your teeth don’t show when you smile. With an overbite, it is possible that only your upper teeth show when you smile. Whereas when someone has an underbite, only their lower teeth show when they smile. In both situations, your smile is not completely visible when you smile. 

You have a long upper lip area

Aging can sometimes have visible effects on your face and your smile. As we age, our facial muscles begin to sag and the same can happen to your upper lip area. When the upper lip area begins to sag, it may curtain your upper teeth when you smile. People opt for lip lift treatment or lip fillers for lifting the upper lip.

You have a gummy smile

Another common reason why teeth don’t show while smiling is a gummy smile. Large gums can hide your teeth and give you a gummy smile. This dental dilemma can happen to anyone due to naturally large gums or due to gum damage.

What can you do if your teeth don’t show when you smile?

All these problems are treatable when corrected by a licensed, experienced dentist, or orthodontist. If you have one of these, here’s more about what you can do to solve this issue.

  • Teeth Elongation
  • Gum Contouring
  • Lip Lifting Surgery
  • Orthodontic Treatments

Teeth Elongation

If your teeth do not show due to their small size, there are a couple of dental treatments available to fix them. Teeth elongation or lengthening is possible through these treatments:

  • Veneers: Through veneers, dentists lengthen the teeth so they are more visible. It is perhaps the fastest and most convenient way to lengthen the teeth. 
  • Crowns: Through crowns, you can give new shape to your damaged teeth and increase their length. 
  • Dental Bonding: You can also elongate the length of your teeth with bonding. It is cheaper than the other alternatives. 

Gum Contouring

Also known as Gingival Sculpting, it is a procedure to reshape the gums. Laser this procedure to get rid of extra gum tissue. This procedure gives you an even gum line so that your teeth are visible when you smile. 

Lip Lifting Surgery

A longer upper lip can give your lips a dull and saggy look. Lip Lifting is a cosmetic procedure to shorten the space between the upper lip and nose. Here are the most common types of lip-lifting surgeries:

  • Direct Lip lifting surgery: This is a direct method of removing skin from the upper lip area. The skin is then pulled upwards to lift up the area. A direct lip lift is more likely to leave a scar on the upper lip area. 
  • Subnasal Bullhorn surgery: This one’s a more common lip lifting procedure. The skin is taken from somewhere along the base of the nose so that the incision is not that visible. A bullhorn shape incision is made and the lip is pulled upward from the center, left, and right.

Orthodontic Treatments

In case of an underbite or overbite, dentists usually recommend undergoing orthodontic treatments. Such treatments focus on straightening and aligning the teeth. The following treatments usually work best if you have an underbite/overbite:

  • Braces: One of the oldest treatments to treat unaligned and misshapen teeth. Braces straighten teeth and fix malocclusion so that your smile looks well-aligned. 
  • Clear aligners: They work like braces but are not. You can remove them whenever you want but they must be worn for at least 20 hrs a day to work. They can align your front teeth so that they are more visible when you smile. 
  • Dentures: Artificial teeth that replace missing teeth and fill empty gaps. With dentures, you get a well-balanced smile that is visible when you smile
  • Bridges: They are partial dentures that replace 2 to 3 missing teeth in a row. They fill empty gaps visible when you smile and give uniformity to your teeth. It also provides bite alignment that improves the visibility of teeth when you smile. 
  • Jaw surgery: Jaw corrective surgery is a procedure to fix jawbone irregularities. If none of the orthodontic treatments work, dentists recommend this procedure. Although it is an invasive procedure it is completely safe and many people undergo it.

Seek Consultation

Seeking a professional consultation will give you an opportunity to ask questions and talk through any issues with the dentist. This will give you an opportunity to talk about any issues you might be having and get them taken care of. So, you will know what outcomes you can expect from your treatments.

With Dentfix, you are one step closer to a beautiful smile. If you need any other information or need to solve your dental problems, do not hesitate to reach out to our professional team at Dentfix dental clinic.

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