With the smile we can express joy, feelings and our personality. The smile is a universal gesture and it is one of the most beautiful gestures in the human being, however, when smiling we have an excess exposure of the soft tissue (gums), the smile is altered, it loses its beauty since a disproportionate smile, and in many cases the expression of the excessively long upper jaw breaks the aesthetics of a beautiful smile, it also implies the perception of a long profile of the face, something not very aesthetic.

What is the gummy smile?

The gummy smile refers to the smile that shows excessively the gums compared to the teeth, that is, when a person shows too much gum when smiling. In general, gingiva is taught above the anterior teeth. This complication can cause complexes for the patient with their smile, something that can condition their self-esteem and their relationship with others. Dental aesthetics are increasingly important among patients.

Thus, the gummy smile is considered more as one more problem. aesthetic than pathological, which can be defined as the dissatisfaction or discontent that a person has when smiling because the height of the gums that is appreciated is excessive in relation to the size of the teeth.

Depending on the type of gum exposure you have, there are different levels of severity in terms of the gummy smile.

  • Mild it is diagnosed this way when the exposure is between 2 to 4 mm from the gingiva when smiling.
  • Moderate The doctor will diagnose it in this way when the range includes 4 to 6 mm of exposure.
  • Severe when the gingiva exposure exceeds 6 mm.

Causes of the gummy smile:

The causes of presenting a gummy smile are different, but there are a series of factors that act together, the soft tissue sample is not the only thing that compromises or determines a gummy smile, there are a series of very important determinants such as:

  • Present teeth of smaller anatomy.
  • The muscle responsible for raising the upper lip is highly developed, with an overactive or hypermobile lip.
  • An excessive upper jaw development.
  • Present excess soft gum tissue.

It is therefore of vital importance that the professional takes into account all this series of factors when diagnosing the smile, always using a previous facial study in which it basically focuses on analyzing a series of essential points.

    • The amount of soft tissue, exposed gingiva.
    • The shape and size of the teeth.
    • The length and degree of mobility of the upper lip.
    • The vertical location of the maxilla
    • Position of the upper teeth in relation to the rest of the skull and the face.

What treatments exist to solve a gummy smile?

The gummy smile can be corrected with different types of treatment, in order to choose the most appropriate one, a careful diagnosis must be made, in this way the treatment alternative that best suits the patient can be chosen.

Currently facial cosmetic surgery allows us to correct this type of smile so that patients can have a beautiful and well-proportioned smile.

People who are aware of having this type of smile are usually afraid or ashamed to smile, the self-esteem and confidence of these patients are affected. That is why when we correct this type of gummy smile, it provides not only benefits in terms of aesthetics, but it must be added that it provides social and psychological benefits for the patient who becomes comfortable and gains security.

There are several treatment options to solve this dental aesthetic problem, among them we have:

  • Crown lengthening. It is a simple surgical technique that is performed in order to re-contour the bone that exists around the teeth and reshape the contour of the gum so that more tooth surface is exposed.
  • Orthodontics. This treatment will help us if the cause of the gummy smile is due to a poor placement of the central teeth
  • Gingivectomy. It is a surgical intervention performed by the periodontist, in which part of the gum is removed. It consists of the excision and removal of a part of gingival tissue.
  • Gingivoplasty. It is a procedure by means of which the gum reshapes itself. It allows to improve the contour of the gums around the tooth. It consists of reshaping the gum in order to obtain a more aesthetic tooth contour, sometimes it is carried out together with gingivectomy.

Regarding the hyperactive lip, its positioning in the smile can be altered through a surgical procedure or the application of a treatment with botulinum toxin (botox) to block the action of certain muscles that intervene in the lip gesture of the smile. This type of treatment has a temporary effect and must be repeated regularly.

In the most serious cases, if the problem is that the maxilla is too long, the solution is the orthognathic surgery, with which its position is corrected.

In the event that multiple causal factors are added, it will be necessary to apply a combination of several of the treatments.

The performance of one technique or another will be determined by the periodontist, who is the specialist in the field and will take into account the amount of keratinized gingiva, the distance between the amelocementary line and the bone crest, taking into account the necessary biological space, and the type of biotype of the gingiva of each patient.

There are two types of biotypes; the thick biotype; It will allow us to be more resective, while a thin one is more demanding and its tendency to recession forces us to use very conservative treatments.

There are cases in which the use of crowns or veneers is necessary to finish improving the appearance of our patients, in these cases it will be necessary to wait 1 to 3 months to be able to place them, giving the gum time to heal properly.

On the other hand if orthodontic treatment or jaw surgery is necessary, the duration of treatment will be longer.

If you decide to improve your gummy smile, at Smile Care Plymouth, ​​our specialists will plan a suitable treatment for you, with which you will improve the aesthetics of your teeth, showing less gums when you smile, and obtaining a perfect shape of your gums since we will be able to correct all imperfections.


We hope you liked this article. Smile Care in Plymouth can offer you a complete Smile Makeover For that Hollywood Smile or if you need Dental Implants our team is on hand, replacing or making new Dentures and White fillings. Contact Our Dental Clinic if you have any questions or would like support with anything we have covered today.