top of page
Gummy Smile
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment 

Some people feel that when they smile, too much of their gums are on show, or that their gums are too prominent when they smile. This is referred to as a 'gummy smile'. A gummy smile can have a negative effect of the aesthetics of your smile. 

Causes of a gummy smile are:

-A hyperactive muscle in the upper lip which causes the upper lip to rise up higher than normal when smiling exposing a lot of gum tissue

-Teeth that appear short because they erupted abnormally and remain partially covered by gum tissue

-An upper lip that is too short

-Teeth that are small in comparison to the gums due to genetics or wear

-Gums that are long or enlarged, known as gingival hypertrophy

-An overgrowth of the upper jaw called vertical maxillary excess, that makes the gums bulge out 

Depending on the patient's face, there are a couple of treatment options that can improve the smile 

-Botulinum toxin can be used to reduce the muscle activity which controls the top lip. This can be very effective. The top lip will not ride as far above the teeth, and the patient can expect to retain all their normal facial movements. 

-If the patient has a thin upper lip, adding some volume with dermal filler can address the imbalance by preventing them sliding so high above the teeth.


bottom of page