My name is Kryston and I am 24 years old. All my life I’ve lived with something called Vertical Maxillary Excess or VME. More commonly known as a “gummy smile”, this is a condition where my upper jaw has grown too long and I have a smile that shows more gum than it does teeth. A normal smile typically should not show much visible gums as shown below:
But for me, it seems as though my gums are about the only thing that shows when I smile. Most people try to say that they don’t notice, but I tend to believe they are just trying to make me feel better. After all, a nice smile is one of the first things I notice about a person and my smile is very different from everyone else. I’ve never been bullied or made fun of for it (to my knowledge) but I’ve always been very insecure about it. The former teenager in me wonders if my smile is the reason I was never asked on dates in high school.
My gummy smile has never held me back from smiling. In fact, close family members nicknamed me “smiley” from a very young age. For this reason I don’t think most people realize my smile is one of my BIGGEST insecurities. My family and my husband all love my smile, but they also understand that my happiness is important. For the first time in my life I am in the position financially to actually do something about it.
I’ve begun the process of finally fixing my teeth and achieving the smile I’ve wanted my entire life. My orthodontist discussed a few options with me including jaw surgery (the gold standard for my case), lip surgery, lip botox, and braces with a special system to move my teeth vertically. I’ll explain this process in posts to come. I have chosen the braces route and I’m excited to document my journey. I’ve never had braces before and I can remember wanting them desperately for the last 14 years. I have scoured the internet for hours looking for personal accounts of smiles and treatments like mine but I just can’t find much. For this reason I am telling my story in hopes that I can inspire someone else who has a smile like me.
Welcome to my blog! My first official orthodontic appointment is in about 2 weeks. I’m happy to be able to share this experience with everyone as I improve my smile and change my life!
And finally, a few pictures of my gummy smile at its finest. Stare away my friends!