When I Smile or Talk, You Can't See my Upper Teeth, Have to Forced Smile It?

I had edge to edge teeth when i was younger had braces when i was in my 20's now my teeth are straight and no longer edge to edge, but the problem is when i talk or smile you can't see my upper teeth, I have to force my smile so people can see my upper teeth. I am 38yo what can I do? I don't know if my upper lips too long or my teeth small, my sister is a dentist and a nephew who is a maxillo facial surgeon, I just don't want to tell them this problem, but I feel bad about my smile.

Doctor Answers 8

I cannot see my upper teeth when I smile

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The starting point is to discuss this with your sister who is a dentist and your nephew who is a max fax surgeon, they could offer invaluable advice or referral onwards.
One dentist has commented that your ortho treatment went wrong; I would disagree with making such comments without full records. If you had unusually short teeth then your orthodontist would have told you so.
My guess is that your upper jaw may be short vertically and so the teeth will not show when you smile.
Depending on how far the teeth have to be to show then you could either have 
upper veneers to make the teeth longer
upper surgical correction to bring the upper jaw down a little
both decisions would require full consultations and time to consider actions

When I Smile or Talk, You Can't See my Upper Teeth, Have to Forced Smile It?

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This could be one of several issues.  You may have a deficient lower facial height.  Your upper lip may be long or your muscles around your mouth may not open your lips wide enough to see.  Your teeth could be short and your upper and lower jaws too close together (deficient vertical dimension of jaws). 
Before recommending any treatment it would be necessary to determine exactly which issue is your problem.  Then and appropriate treatment(s) could be recommended.
It may be just an issue of making your teeth longer with veneers or crowns.
Or, jaw surgery and orthodontics.
Maybe plastic surgery around your mouth?
One thing to remember is everyone is different.  Certainly Julia Roberts and Regis Philbun have altogether different kinds of mouths and smiles and teeth and most would certainly say they are normal.  I know you just want to be the best that you can be.  First, talk with a couple cosmetic dentists to determine if it is a dental problem or other type of problem.  If not a dental problem, they certainly can guide you to the best physician or dentist to treat your particular problem.
Good luck!

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Dentist

Could be both or a combination

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There are several things that could cause your teeth to not show during normal conversation or when your lips are at rest.  With your history of being edge to edge for a few years it is very likely that it is at least party due to excessive wear.  It can also be due to the position of your teeth and bone relative to your lip or even your lip being too low relative to your nose.  Depending on which cause(s) this, your treatment could include restorations longer than what you now have, orthodontics, surgery or any combination of those treatments.

Carson Calderwood, DDS
Issaquah Dentist

You should see upper teeth when talking

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Under normal circumstances, you should see your upper teeth when smiling and your lower teeth when talking.  If this is not the case and you can't live with your imperfections, then you should consider an orthodontic and oral maxillofacial evaluation.  It seems as if something went wrong along the way when you had braces.   Sometimes this might be easy to correct but sometimes precision surgery might be indicated during the first phase of treatment.  Good luck with what you do and please keep us informed.

Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
New York Dentist


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It sounds like the VERTICAL placement of your upper front teeth is incorrect.  They need to be lower in the face with current lip length.  In some cases surgery is done to assist this but sometimes well planned conventional orthodontics can help.  

If the upper front teeth are to be brought down to be more visible then the lower front teeth will likely need to be intruded.  This will require full braces, careful planning and careful execution of the plan.   I am treating a patient right now with this very problem and she also has two implants in the upper front which aggravates the problem even more because they can not be moved down and will have to have a restorative solution in addition to the orthodontics.  A major part of the solution is to move the lower front down (intrude them) enough to get the required space for proper vertical placement of the upper teeth or restorations.  .These are difficult cases but they sometimes can be done successfully.  If  this is severe, restorative treatment alone is probably not the best alternative here.

Talk to several orthodonticspecialists until you feel you have a really satisfactory explanation and a good workable plan for the solution.  

Clark L. Jones, DDS, MSD
Phoenix Orthodontist

Upper teeth don't show when smiling.

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It would be helpful to see some photos here but the big question is if this is a skeletal or a dental problem.  Your sister and nephew could be of great help here, and perhaps an orthodontic consultation to determine this.  Since your teeth were edge to edge, most likely the edges have worn down and they are shorter now, so you may be a good candidate for veneers that can lengthen your teeth and give you what you want.

Michael Firouzian, DDS
Columbus Dentist

Can't see upper teeth?

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Your sister will understand she would be a great starting point.... Surgically you can cant the upper jaw to see more teeth or consider orthodontics to extrude your upper teeth or consider cosmetic with crowns or veneers good luck


Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD    CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Short teeth you can't see

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Sounds like you need some diagnostic work to determine if veneers can be used to elongate your teeth and pump some youth back into your smile.  When patents don't show teeth, it tends to make them look older then they really are.  And the opposite holds true too ..... if we can elongate the teeth so a few millimeters of tooth hangs below the lip when a patent talks, it makes the patient look younger.

Thomas Connelly, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.