Gummy Smile | What Are The Causes And Treatment Options?

gummy smile

Correcting that Gummy smile

Without a doubt, smiles are contagious. What’s more, they are like little gift pieces that you give someone for free. That is why we are quite sensitive about how we look when we smile. With that in mind, do you ever look in the mirror and see your gums when you smile? If yes, then this section is for you.

A gummy smile, or in dentistry terms excessive gingival display, is basically when you end up showing too much gum when you smile. Some people usually feel less pretty due to this condition. On top of that, the majority will have self-esteem issues due to this condition. Well, we have some good news for you.

Gummy smiles can be corrected. Needless to say, this treatment will majorly depend on what is really causing this condition in you. However, once we are able to figure out the issue, then we can head down straight to treatment.

What is Gummy smile

What is Gummy smile?

More gingival showing and excessive display of gums tissue when you smile is known as a gummy smile


What Causes Gummy Smiles?

Sorry to say but most times ladies are prone to this condition when compared to males. Having excessive gum exposure on the upper jaw is usually as a result of the irregular eruption of your teeth. Additionally, there are also other reasons why you are likely to have this condition. They include:

  1. Having a shorter upper lip which results in a gummy smile
  2. Also, if your teeth appear shorter than normal. That’s because they erupted abnormally and have remained partially covered with the gum tissue.
  3. Having a longer gum layer than normal. This is typically known as gingival hypertrophy.
  4. Lastly, you might get a gummy smile as a result of an overgrowth of your upper jaw. This is known as vertical maxillary excess and causes your upper gum to bulge out.

If you have noticed by now, most of the causes of a gummy smile are either connected to your lip, gum, or teeth. These are actually the key components that contribute to a gorgeous smile. What’s more, it’s all about the positioning of your teeth, gum, and lips whenever you smile.

In case one piece is off, then your whole smile will be affected. Therefore, you will have to undergo proper check-up to actually find out what is really wrong. However, in some instances, your gummy smile might be a genetic condition and there’s no way you will be able to prevent it.

Your teeth and gums are the heart of the entire condition. More to that, tooth eruption is basically the process by which your tooth moves through the gums and becomes visible in your mouth. This process typically stops when you reach adulthood and you develop permanent teeth.

But this process doesn’t stop there. The bone tissues and your gums are supposed to shrink back. This will stabilize after teen ages. Natural variations may result in discrepancies of this process and cause an abnormal relationship between the ratio of your teeth and gum tissues.

What Causes Gummy Smiles

Can braces help fix gummy smile?

There are a number of treatment options for gummy smiles as you will see down below. However, as I said earlier, each treatment method depends on what is really causing your gummy smile. Therefore, proper consultation with a specialist is necessary.

That said, braces are a viable option when it comes to fixing your gummy smile. Some dentists usually prefer using braces together with a temporary anchorage device. This is usually a device that’s inserted in your jawline to provide a fixed and more stable point hence allowing more force to be applied.

Can braces help fix gummy smile?

Treatment options of Gummy Smiles

Here are some of the solutions that can be used to treat your gummy smile:

  • In case you have an underlying growth of your teeth or jaws, we will use braces and a TADS (temporary anchorage device) to shift your bite to its correct position. The TADS will be used to headgear the entire procedure. I know this sounds scary but trust me you don’t have anything to worry about. It’s a very simple procedure that will get you the end result and it’s only temporary.


  • The other procedure that can be used is an oral surgical procedure to correct any mild jaw protrusion. The oral procedure will reposition the upper jaw so that it gets to its correct position. The entire procedure will be done in general anesthesia. We usually begin with a year of braces followed by surgery. We then finish it up with a year of orthodontic treatment. On top of that, our dentistry team will always follow up to ensure you have a complete recovery with the desired results. As much as this procedure has a lengthy recovery time and higher cost, it will give you incredible results in the end.


  • If too much gum is the issue, we can perform a Gingivectomy. This entails the removal of the extra gum tissue then reshapes it so that it will be able to expose more teeth. This will generally improve your smile aesthetics.


  • Lip repositioning is also another viable option. This is usually an option when the gummy smile is as a result of a hyperactive upper lip.


  • You also have the chance to opt for the laser gum contouring procedure. In this procedure, you don’t necessarily have to go under the knife to correct your gummy smile.


  • Last but not least, you can also opt for Botox treatment. This is relatively a new procedure of gummy smile but it’s way cheaper when compared to surgical procedures. Unfortunately, the incredible results of this procedure are temporary and will last for up to 3 to 4 months. On top of that, it will only work if the upper lip is the issue. In this procedure, your doctor will inject Botox into your upper lip. This will lead to paralysis of the muscles which will, in the end, prevent it from lifting too high when you smile.

Treatment options of Gummy Smiles


In Summary…

Well, there you have it! When it comes to improving your smile, we always have your best interests at heart as dentists. We are well-preserved in taking a team approach so that you can have the best results. Therefore, if you have any periodontist requirement, we can ensure you have a smooth procedure and recovery time.


Author Since:  September 18, 2018


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