How to Get Rid of a Gummy Smile


Generally a smile shows eight to 10 upper teeth, with almost no gum showing above the two. Certain pathologic and physiologic conditions, however, cause some individuals' smiles to expose a great deal of gum above the upper front teeth, making them look shorter. Modern cosmetic dentistry procedures offer solutions for people with a gummy smile.

How to Get Rid of a Gummy Smile

  • Consider the various options available for reducing a gummy smile. Among the most popular is the gingivectomy, or crown lengthening, which involves removing excess gum tissue to expose more teeth crowns and resculpting the gumline. This procedure is often conducted with a laser and is minimally invasive. Porcelain veneers are also regularly implemented, as is flap surgery, which involves the removal of underlying bone. A fourth possible solution is hypermobile lip surgery, in which gum tissue under the lip is reattached at a level closer to a patient's teeth, reducing the appearance of a high lip line.

  • Find a dentist specializing in cosmetic procedures with whom you are comfortable.

  • Discuss with your dentist the options for reducing the prominence of your gums when you smile.

  • Decide on an appropriate solution together, set an appointment, undergo the procedure of choice and carefully follow any post-procedure guidelines (i.e., dressings, mouthwash) as instructed by your dentist.

  • Smile!

Tips & Warnings

  • Gummy smiles may be caused by medical conditions, medications, short teeth or excessive supporting bone, a short upper lip that pulls up too high, a long upper jaw or the positioning of upper front teeth. Understand the causes of your gummy smile in collaboration with your dentist, and choose a solution accordingly.

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