November 16, 2005

Gummy smiles are less attractive

People who show their upper gums when they smile were judged as less attractive; however, women were more tolerant of gum-showers than men.

Angle Orthod. 2005 Sep;75(5):778-84.

Influence of sex on the perception of oral and smile esthetics with differen gingival display and incisal plane inclination.

Geron S and Atalia W.

This study was designed to determine the esthetic perception of men and women to variations in upper and lower gingival display at smile and speech and to incisal plane tilting. Composed photographs of smile and speech with varying amounts of gingival exposure of the upper and lower teeth and gingiva at smile and at speech and with varying degrees of incisal plane tilting were rated for attractiveness by two groups of lay people. The images were presented as male or female images. A total of 300 questionnaires, including 7500 images, were evaluated by 100 subjects. The results showed that images were scored as less attractive as the amount of upper and lower gingival display was increased during smile and speech. The amount of gingival exposure graded in the esthetic range was up to one mm for the upper incisors and zero mm for the lower incisors. Incisal plane tilting was graded as unesthetic when above two degrees of deviation from the horizontal. Male and female evaluators scored images differently with upper gingival exposure. Female evaluators gave statistically significant higher scores than male evaluators to upper gingival exposure images at smile and speech of both males and females, suggesting that females are more tolerant of upper gingival exposure. Images were scored differently when presented as male or female images. Female images were scored lower by both male and female evaluators, suggesting that additional efforts should be taken in female patients to achieve an esthetic result.


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