How Do You Fix a Gummy Smile?

What makes a smile attractive? While the answer to this question is subjective, for many people the answer would be the same. However, when you really think about it, an attractive smile can be made up of a variety of factors. Individuals who have a greenville gummy smile, or a smile that shows too much of their gums, may not be happy with the aesthetic of their smile regardless of how perfect their teeth are. Fortunately, there are many cosmetic dental treatment options available to help to fix the appearance of a gummy smile. Below is more information on what causes a gummy smile and ways the issue can be treated.


What is a Gummy Smile and What Causes it?

There is technically no set definition for a gummy smile. So, what is a gummy smile? The answer is that it is based on perception and is when a smile appears to show too much of the gums. In general, this is when there is more than three millimeters of gum tissue exposed. Approximately 15% of adults have a gummy smile, and the condition is more common among women than men. What causes a gummy smile? The most likely answer is genetics. Many individuals have inherited genes that result in either a small teeth to gum ratio, or just large gums. However, there are some cases when the teeth do not erupt, or come in, as they should and remain covered by gum tissue. Teeth that are covered by excessive gum tissue and have not erupted properly appear short, even though they may be the proper length. Another common cause is the size or length of the upper lip and the muscle movements of the lip when someone smiles. An upper lip that is hyperactive will rise higher than normal when smiling, exposing more of the gum tissue.


Treating a Gummy Smile

Fortunately, regardless of the cause, there are cosmetic dental treatments available to help fix a gummy smile. Though not all of these treatments involve dental surgery, many of them do. Here are some treatments commonly used to fix a gummy smile:


  • Lip Lowering: During surgery, the dentist will re-position the placement of the upper lip to expose less of the gum line.
  • Botox: If your dentist believes your lip muscles may be hyperactive, they can try to use Botox injections to reduce the muscle’s high pulling effect. The result will be an upper lip that better rests over the gum tissue. Studies have shown Botox treatment for a gummy smile can be efficient, minimally invasive and with minimum risk of complications.
  • Gum Contouring/Gum Reshaping: In a quick and efficient procedure, the dentist uses a scalpel or laser to trim gum tissue away from around the teeth.
  • Crown Lengthening: During this procedure gum tissue is removed, the teeth length is modified, and the gum line is reshaped to give a longer appearance.


If you are interested in changing the aesthetic appearance of your smile, the best place to start is to have a conversation with your dentist. They will help determine the cause of your gummy smile and develop a treatment plan to give you the smile you desire.


How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Gummy Smile?