The well known gummy smile appears as a consequence of what we call altered passive eruption. This problem is usually recognized when the gum margin is covering part of the tooth, so that when smiling the patient does not show the whole tooth.
Therefore, if we observe that we show a lot of gum or our teeth are very square, we should consult a periodontist. Although appearance is sometimes not enough to detect an altered passive eruption, so whenever the gum is inflamed and bleeding after dental hygiene, and if the dentist does not find a solution, we should also consult a periodontist to assess whether there is a problem of altered passive eruption.
It is important to know that altered passive eruption is not only an esthetic issue but it also means that the gum is resting on the tooth, but it is not adhered to it since it only adheres to the root cementum. In other words, in these cases a space will be created that in the future will be colonized by bacteria, causing caries on the tooth enamel or inflammation of the gum with the consequent destruction of the bone, which we know as periodontitis or pyorrhea.
In most cases the treatment for altered passive eruption is very simple. With an outpatient surgery in which we remove the excess gum and, in many occasions, the excess bone, the patient can enjoy a much more beautiful smile and above all avoid problems in the future.