Gummy smile: What causes it, and how to fix it?

Too much gum tissue that shows when you smile, also known as the excessive gingival display, can lower your confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, by understanding the causes of a gummy smile, it is treatable with the assistance of your dental team.


What is a gummy smile?


A gummy smile is 3 to 4 millimeters from the exposed gumline. It reveals too much of the gum line while smiling. There are solutions available, whether you want to cure it for cosmetic reasons or treat these underlying concerns.


Furthermore, a gummy smile poses no significant health risks. However, it can cause embarrassment and insecurity for many people.


What causes a gummy smile?


To correct your gummy smile, you must first determine what is causing it and address the underlying problem. There could be several reasons for your gummy smile. These can include jaw development problems, abnormal tooth eruptions, improper bite, hyperactive upper lip, muscular issues, etc. Here are some quick definitions of the causes of gummy smiles:


  • Problems with jaw development: Your jawbone forms a bulging protrusion in your upper jaw while developing.
  • Teeth erupting abnormally: If your teeth erupt abnormally in your gums, they may appear shorter. As a result, the gum tissue covers a more significant proportion of the teeth. This does not imply that your teeth are necessarily short; instead, the gum tissue surrounding them makes them appear shorter.
  • Hyperactive upper lip: Hyperactive upper lip is a condition in which your upper lips move more upward than usual. The gum tissue is more exposed when you smile than on a normal lip.
  • Excessive gum tissue covering the teeth: Excessive gum tissue surrounding the teeth is a common cause of a gummy smile.
  • Gingival hyperplasia: It is a condition that occurs when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria, medication, or underlying systemic diseases such as leukemia, HIV, or diabetes.


Can I fix my gummy smile?


There are several methods for correcting a gummy smile. You should always discuss any dental issues with your dentist and choose treatment options based on their diagnosis. Following your dental appointment, you will be able to select from a variety of treatments. Depending on the root cause of the problem, there are several options for correcting a it.


Orthodontic options


Orthodontic appliances can correct a gummy smile if caused by a jaw or orthodontic issue. These appliances can shift the bite into the proper position and make the gums seem less prominent.


Similarly, veneers or dental crowns can make the upper set of teeth appear longer and improve the tooth-to-gum proportion when the teeth are too short due to genetic reasons.


Surgical options


  1. Gingivectomy: It involves removing excess gum tissue and reshaping the remaining tissue to expose more teeth.
  2. Crown-lengthening surgery: This surgery lengthens the crowns of teeth that haven't fully erupted. Furthermore, it entails removing gum tissue and bone to expose more of the tooth, allowing the gums to retract into their proper position.
  3. Lip repositioning surgery: It is done when a short or hyperactive upper lip causes an excessive gingival display.
  4. Surgery of the upper jaw is done in the most severe cases.




To summarize, there are several approaches you may take to address the gummy grin problem. Depending on the underlying cause of your gummy grin, you can pick from the surgical or nonsurgical procedures indicated above.


A gummy smile is generally not harmful to your health. However, it can cause a lot of psychological stress. Moreover, it is relatively common and can be treated with primarily non-invasive to minimally invasive treatments. Furthermore, your dentist will uncover the underlying cause of your gummy smile during your initial appointment. Hence, you can decide on the best treatment plan for your needs.


Contact your Danville dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD at Danville Orthodontics to know more about gummy smile.




Is A Gummy Smile Unhealthy?


This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.

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