What Is a Gummy Smile

A Gummy smile in terms refers to a condition when  there’s  an excessive display of gums (gingival) while smiling. Normally 2/3rd  to 3/4th of the upper teeth should be visible while smiling  and therefore the  rest should be covered by the upper lip.  Just in case  the gum show is more ( 2 to 3 mm) while speaking or smiling it gives an unaesthetic appearance.

Usually, patients who visit Therapeuo Clinic for gummy smile treatment are concerned about their smile looking unpleasant or less attractive. Mostly we seek patients after  treatment  to get their perfect smile.

Other Cosmetic Dental Treatment options for  an ideal  smile include

  • Teeth Veneers, Cosmetic Bonding
  • Braces
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Gum Depigmentation

There is no consensus as to how much gingiva will display when smiling is considered gummy. A distillation  of varied  studies shows that gums that display greater than 2 millimeters academically is considered to be gummy.

Mostly the gummy smile  is merely  an aesthetic concern but in some cases, it can affect the teeth and gum health. read also about : Micro Forceps


What Causes A Gummy Smile

There are many reasons for a gummy smile, and  for every  one there is a different treatment modality.

The Height, Shape, and Size of theTeeth

The Teeth may appear short because either  they need  not have erupted properly and remain partially covered by gum tissue. The Teeth are small  as compared  to the gums due to wear attrition or genetically small teeth

Too Short Upper Lip

The average length of the upper lip and the philtrum is about 20 to 24 millimeters and the average movement between a lip at rest and a lip at a smile is 6 to 8 millimeters

When the upper lip is normal  long  at  rest  but lifts too high when smiling displaying a lot of gum tissue is called Hypermobile Lips

Gums Hypertrophy

Gum hypertrophy or enlargement can occur  thanks to  several reasons such as hormonal changes in pregnancy or puberty, use of certain medications  like  phenytoin or cyclosporine, certain gum tumors, or bony tumors arising from jaw bone  which may , in turn, show up excess gum tissue.

In over eruption of the maxillary anterior a gummy smile is caused by excessive vertical growth of the maxillary anterior Dental alveolar complex.

Mouth Breathing

If the person has the habit of breathing from the mouth  thanks to  enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or  the other  breathing issues they usually present with an open mouth and inflamed gums and cause gums to show up and lead to a gummy smile


The use of certain medicines such as Phenytoin to treat epilepsy, Cyclosporine for immunosuppressants, or some anti-hypertensive drugs can  cause  gum enlargement and excessive display of gums


How  does one  Fix A Gummy Smile

Treatment of Gummy Smile  is predicated  on its cause.

Gummy smile correction  are often  done by


  1. Gum Surgery ( Crown Lengthening )
  2. Lip Lengthening
  3. Orthodontic Treatment
  4. Botox injections for upper lip
  5. Lip Fillers


Gum Surgery / Crown lengthening

Typically the procedure that we do most of the time is what’s called crown Lengthening where we actually sculpt or reshape the gum tissue  to form  those teeth a little bit longer and more attractive.

At Therapeuo Clinic we use Dental Laser for Gum Contouring  because it  gives bloodless and precise and painless results

Sometimes the bone  round the  teeth needs to be reshaped as well.

So we reshape the gum, sometimes we reshape the bone  to offer  the patient the look that they want and have a normal-looking smile with teeth and proportion to their face.

Another advantage of gum contouring is that it eliminates the deep gum pockets and prevents recurrent gum infections.

The results of gum contouring are permanent and long-lasting  and therefore the  procedure is very safe.

The cost for gum contouring for gummy smile correction may range from 7000 INR to 15000 INR.


Lip Lowering/ Lip Lengthening

Another procedure that we do  is named  lip lowering and we actually change the position of lips with teeth.

The procedure  is really  done where the teeth are normal length so we really don’t have to do anything to the teeth

So we perform a lip repositioning where we lower the lip by removing  an element  of connective tissue from inside of the lip, so when the patient smiles the lip doesn’t pull up  the maximum amount .

Another benefit  thereto  is that the lip becomes fuller and kind of richer looking.

The procedure is safe  and typically  done under Local Anesthesia. The results are usually long-lasting but some relapse may occur after few years


Botox Injections on upper lip muscles

There is a third option: Botox ( botulinum toxin ) to numb the muscles that retract the upper lip.

The advantage of this procedure is that no surgery is involved.

The disadvantage is that the results  aren’t  permanent and have to be done very frequently (4 to 6 months) to keep that effect. Also, your smile may change  just in case  it is overused.


Gummy Smile Braces /  treatment

If upper front teeth have erupted more or forward,  we’ve  several options to correct them either by braces or Invisalign treatment.

Orthodontic treatment pulls the teeth behind and repositions the lip in its proper position which drapes the gum tissue and corrects your smile.

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