Imagine a situation where you cannot afford to smile or laugh out loud, and if you must, you must do it slightly so as not to show off your gums. That happens for most people with fiancé gums, popularly known as gummy smiles.
For some people, gummy smiles are pretty unattractive, and a corrective procedure is advisable to fix them.
For others, they are a mark of beauty and are often associated with females who are likely to get a fiancé, thus the name fiancé gums.
We’ll explore all these stereotypes surrounding gummy smiles and everything you must know about this dental issue. That includes its cause, types, and fixes.
What are Fiancé Gums?
A fiancé gum, also known as gummy smile, gingival smile, or gummy teeth, is a type of smile in which a larger part of the gum is widely visible as one smiles.
Ideally, only a small part of the gum and the front part of the teeth should be visible when one smiles during a typical smile. That’s, however, not the case with fiancé gums, as more of the gum is noticeable.
Origin of the Term Fiancé Gums and Associated Stereotypes
The term “fiancé gums” is often used in a humorous or derogatory manner to refer to a person’s excessive display of gums when they smile.
The term is often used in a lighthearted or mocking context, as seen in online posts and memes.
However, it’s important to note that making fun of someone’s physical features is not respectful, and it’s essential to be mindful of the impact of such language on others.
Generally, it’s pretty unclear where the name fiancé gum originated from.
Well, that’s a stereotype, as not everyone with a fiancé gum is engaged, and an overexposed gum can’t dictate one’s fate. Some causes are genetic, and others are correctable dental defects.
Across the world, people have different perceptions about fiancé gums. In Korea, for example, fiancé gums are an attractive feature. Some people even go through cosmetic treatments to raise their gums.
Fiancé gums are also perceived as desirable in India, where some believe they are a sign of affection and kindness.
The perception is, however, different in the US, where gummy smiles are labeled unattractive and embarrassing.
But again, all these are stereotypes. They don’t really paint the true picture of what fiancé gums are, which is a correctable smile.
Medical Explanation of the Condition
What Causes Fiancé Gums?
Fiancé gums result from different things ranging from dental defects to poor dental hygiene. Here are their most common causes:
- Extra gum tissue – Some people have more than enough tissue around the gum, and a lot of it shows when they smile.
- Long upper jaw – At times, the upper jaw grows longer than it does horizontally, exposing the gum more when one smiles.
- Smaller upper lip – In some cases, a fiancé gum becomes visible when the upper lip is smaller or shorter, thus unable to entirely cover the gum when one smiles.
- Hyperactive top lip muscles – On the upper lip are muscles controlling the lip movement, which is hyperactive in some people, forcefully lifting the lip more than it should and exposing a bigger part of the gum.
- Teeth misalignment – Some people have fiancé gums because their teeth are not correctly aligned. Such people will likely show off more gum than they should when smiling.
- Induced gingiva – Fiancé gums can also result from plaque buildup around the gum due to poor dental care. In the end, the plaque causes the gum to enlarge more than it should and becomes visible when smiling.
- Low dental positioning – Sometimes, the upper incisors fail to establish contact with the lower incisors, and that causes a big part of the gum to be visible when smiling.
Types of Fiancé Gums
Fiancé gums come in different types depending on the size or length of the gum that shows when one smiles. They include the following:
- Mild fiancé gums – People with mild gummy smiles show off 2-4 millimeters of gum when they smile. The gum slightly alters the aesthetic nature of the smile. So, most people are okay living with a mild fiancé gum.
- Moderate fiancé gums – Individuals with a moderate gummy smile show off 4-6 millimeters of the gum when smiling. The gum alters the smile to some degree, so a corrective procedure is recommended.
- Severe fiancé gums – A severe gummy smile is the most extreme form of fiancé gum. Here, one shows more than 6 millimeters of the gum when smiling, and the overexposed gum alters one’s smile a lot.
Are Fiancé Gums Fixable?
Fiancé gums don’t necessarily need fixing, especially when they are only mild.
However, if they are moderate or severe and one feels bothered, they can go for a corrective procedure, and notable ones include the following:
- Botox treatment
- Orthodontic treatment like Invisalign or the use of braces
- Gum contouring or gum reshaping
- Myotomy (weakening of the upper lip)
- Surgical procedures such as lip repositioning, jaw surgery, or crown lengthening
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As shared, fiancé gums are purely aesthetic, making them fixable. For that reason, there’s no need to stereotype anyone. If the condition bothers you, you should talk to a dental expert who can help you plan for the best treatment.