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What is a Gummy Smile? An Overview

July 26, 2023

Gummy Smile

A smile is one of the most beautiful expressions of joy and happiness. However, for some individuals, their smiles may reveal an excessive display of gum tissue, commonly known as a “gummy smile.” This article will delve deep into the topic, covering the causes, treatments, expert insights, and frequently asked questions about gummy smiles.

What is a Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile, clinically referred to as excessive gingival display, is a condition where a significant portion of the gum tissue is visible when a person smiles. This can lead to self-consciousness and impact an individual’s confidence in their appearance.

What Causes Gummy Smiles?

Several factors contribute to the development of gummy smiles. Some of the common causes include:

  • Excessive Gum Tissue: Some naturally have more prominent gum tissue covering their teeth, leading to a gummy smile.
  • Abnormal Tooth Eruption: Improper eruption of the teeth can cause them to appear shorter, contributing to the gummy smile.
  • Hyperactive Upper Lip: In some cases, the muscles in the upper lip may be hyperactive, causing the lip to lift higher than normal when smiling.
  • Altered Tooth Development: An abnormality in the growth and development of the jaw or teeth can result in a gummy smile.

Is a Gummy Smile a Dental Problem?

Having a gummy smile is not a dental problem in the traditional sense. It does not directly affect the functionality of the teeth or oral health. However, it can impact an individual’s self-esteem and confidence, leading them to seek treatment options.


Gummy Smile Treatments

Several treatment options are available to address gummy smiles. The most appropriate treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition:


  • Orthodontic Treatment: In cases where the gummy smile is due to malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth, orthodontic treatment such as braces may be recommended to correct the issue.
  • Gingivectomy is a surgical procedure in which a dentist or periodontist removes excess gum tissue to reveal more of the tooth crown and improve the smile’s appearance.
  • Lip Repositioning: For individuals with a hyperactive upper lip, a lip repositioning procedure can be performed to limit the upward movement of the lip, reducing gum exposure during smiles.
  • Maxillofacial Surgery: In severe cases where skeletal issues cause the gummy smile, maxillofacial surgery may be necessary to reposition the upper jaw and achieve a balanced smile.

Say Goodbye to Gummy Smiles

“A positive self-image and self-confidence can result from proper orthodontic care.”

This belief has been our foundation for over 17 years of creating beautiful, straight, and confident smiles!

With thousands of finished cases under our belt, we are confident in our ability to provide you and your family with excellent treatment delivered with expertise and care.

Plan your smile with one of the best Orthodontists in Toronto, Ontario. Schedule a virtual care or in-office appointment with us! Let’s work together to create the best smile for you and your family. 

FAQs about Gummy Smiles

Can gummy smiles be hereditary?

Yes, gummy smiles can have a hereditary component, as certain genetic traits can influence the development of the gums and teeth.

Is gingivectomy a painful procedure?

The gingivectomy procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring minimal discomfort.

Can braces alone fix a gummy smile?

In some cases, orthodontic treatment with braces can improve a gummy smile, especially if the issue concerns tooth positioning.

Are there any non-surgical treatments for gummy smiles?

Yes, non-surgical treatments like Botox injections are sometimes used to reduce the visibility of gum tissue in some instances temporarily.

Is the correction of a gummy smile permanent?

Correcting a gummy smile can be long-lasting with the appropriate treatment, providing patients with an improved smile for years to come.


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