How Can Dentists Treat a “Gummy” Smile?

A gummy smile typically has too much gum tissue covering the teeth, which can lead to a smile that’s composed of mostly gums.

There are many causes of gummy smile, including teeth that didn’t erupt correctly, hyperactive upper lip muscles, and improper jaw development [1]. The lips, facial muscles, teeth, and gum tissue all play a role in gummy smile, although the underlying cause of all these factors is typically genetic.

The treatment for gummy smile will depend on what’s causing it as determined by your dentist. What are some of the treatment options for this condition?

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment can help remove excess gum tissue and reshape the gumline to improve the appearance of your smile. Laster treatment is comfortable and ideal for patients who may have anxiety about visiting the dentist.

Using laser therapy for gummy smile is a great option for patients who don’t want to undergo traditional surgery to fix their smile [2]. By using a laser, recovery time tends to be much faster and the patient experiences less swelling, bleeding, and discomfort.

Your dentist may suggest laser therapy for your gummy smile if the cause is attributed to too much gum tissue covering the teeth as opposed to an additional cause such as jaw or upper lip positioning.

Surgical Options

For many patients with gummy smile, surgical options can help correct the condition as effectively as possible.

Periodontal surgery for gummy smile—also called a gingivectomy—involves removing excess gum tissue and reshaping the gumline. Your dentist may suggest a crown lengthening procedure which will expose more healthy tooth below the gumline, if this is possible.

If your gummy smile is found to be caused by hyperactive upper lip muscles, reconstructive surgery can help. During this procedure, your dentist will correct the upper lip’s position so that it doesn’t expose as much gum tissue when smiling [3].

If your jaw is found to be the cause of your gummy smile, you’ll likely need an oral surgeon to correct the position of your jaw. While this form of treatment will be the most intensive, it can result in significant improvement and will permanently correct your gummy smile.

Additional Treatments to Consider

Your dentist may suggest other forms of treatment for your gummy smile, including:

  • Orthodontics.Braces or Invisalign can correct your bite to make gum tissue less visible.
    Orthodontics provide a simple, temporary, and painless treatment option for gummy
    smile if your bite is found to be the issue.
  • Veneers.For people who have naturally short teeth or teeth that are worn down from
    bruxism (teeth grinding), dental veneers can make the teeth appear longer and function
    as a permanent form of treatment for gummy smile.
  • Botox.Botox injections can help improve the movement of the upper lip without
    surgery; however, this is a temporary treatment that will need to be repeated every few

Regardless of what the cause of your gummy smile is, there is treatment. By visiting your dentist, you can get a comprehensive exam to determine what’s causing your gummy smile and what treatments are available to you to permanently transform your teeth and gums!