How to Fix a Gummy Smile

April 16, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drruiz @ 8:46 pm

Ever feel like your smile’s showing a bit too much gum? Having what’s often called a “gummy smile” is fairly common, but the good news is there are ways to correct it if you’re unhappy with it. 

So whether you’re self-conscious about a gummy smile or just curious about what options are out there, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to cover all things “gummy smile” – from what causes it to the various treatments available to help you fix it and feel more confident.

Keep reading!

What is a gummy smile?

A “gummy smile, also called excessive gingival display, is when a smile shows more of your gums than you’d like. It’s fairly common, with about 10% of 20 to 30-year-olds considering their smiles too “gummy.” 

What causes a gummy smile?

According to research, there are multiple factors that cause a gummy smile.

For example, your lips can make your smile look more “gummy,” like if you have a shorter upper lip. Or if your lips move a lot when you smile, more of your gumline can be exposed. 

The way your teeth grow can also cause a gummy smile. For example, vertical maxillary excess, which is a condition when your upper jaw’s bones grow longer than the typical length, can also cause a gummy smile. Or, if your front teeth grew in too far, your gums may have also grown in too far. Additionally, altered passive eruption, which is when your gums covered more of your teeth’s surface when they first came in, can also make your smile look “gummy.”

There are also certain medications that can make your gums grow around your teeth too much. For example, immunosuppressants, drugs that prevent seizures, or drugs that treat high blood pressure could possibly cause your gums to overgrow.

Treatments for gummy smiles

The good news is that if you have a gummy smile, you have options to correct the issue.

Crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is a dental procedure that addresses a gummy smile by reshaping the gum line and exposing more of the tooth’s surface. During the procedure, excess gum tissue is carefully removed, and sometimes, bone tissue may be reshaped to create a more balanced gum-to-tooth ratio. This process reveals more of the tooth structure, resulting in a smile where less gum tissue is visible, thus correcting the appearance of a gummy smile.

Orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment can correct a gummy smile by realigning the teeth and adjusting the position of the jaw. By moving the teeth into proper alignment, orthodontics can help reduce the prominence of the gums when smiling. Additionally, orthodontic appliances, such as braces or aligners, can address underlying issues like overbites or vertical maxillary excess, which contribute to the appearance of a gummy smile. This comprehensive approach helps achieve a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers can improve a gummy smile by masking excessive gum display. These thin shells are custom-made to cover the front surface of the teeth. By extending the length of the teeth, veneers can create the illusion of a more proportionate smile with less gum exposure. However, veneers may not address the underlying cause of the gummy smile, so a thorough evaluation by a dentist is necessary to determine the most suitable treatment approach.

Gum contouring

Gum contouring is a procedure that can correct a gummy smile by reshaping the gum line. Using laser or surgical techniques, excess gum tissue is carefully removed to reveal more of the tooth’s surface. This balances the proportion between teeth and gums, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile with less gum exposure. Gum contouring is a minimally invasive procedure that can effectively address the appearance of a gummy smile.


Botox injections can treat a gummy smile by temporarily weakening the muscles responsible for lifting the upper lip excessively. By targeting specific muscles around the mouth, Botox reduces their ability to contract, limiting the upward movement of the upper lip when smiling. This results in less gum exposure and a more balanced smile. While Botox offers a non-invasive solution, it requires periodic injections to maintain the desired effect.

Visit Dr. Ruiz & Associates for a dentist in Burbank

If you’re in the Burbank area and have a gummy smile you’re looking to correct, come visit our dentist office, Dr. Ruiz & Associates. Dr. Ruiz is a respected dentist, educator, and researcher who focuses on supra-gingival, minimally invasive healthy dentistry. He has even developed a smile design technique that dentists all around the world use.

Check out our Google reviews and schedule an appointment with us!

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