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A gummy smile is when you smile and too much gum tissue shows above the teeth, known as excessive gingival display. Patients who visit Georgetown Smile concerned about their gummy smile say it makes them feel self-conscious. The good news is, a gummy smile can be fixed! The treatment will depend on the cause of the excessive gingival display, once we figure out the cause we can work on creating the smile you desire!

Gummy smile before and after

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

  • Teeth that appear short because they erupted improperly and remain partially covered by gum tissue
  • Teeth that are small in comparison to the gums due to genetics or wear
  • An upper lip that is too short
  • A hyperactive upper lip that is normal in length when the face is resting but lifts too high when smiling exposing a lot of gum tissue
  • Gums that are long or enlarged, known as gingival hypertroph
  • An overgrowth of the upper jaw, called vertical maxillary excess, that makes gums bulge out

You may notice that the causes are all related to the teeth, lips, jaws or gums, which happen to be the key components that dictate your smile aesthetics. It’s all about proportion and positioning and when one piece of the smile puzzle isn’t correct, it can throw everything off. In the majority of instances, the condition behind a gummy smile is genetic so there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.

What Is the Treatment for a Gummy Smile ?

If you think you have a gummy smile, visit Georgetown Smile for confirmation and treatment options. Dr. Peretz will examine your mouth, teeth and gums to determine the extent of the excessive gingival display and any possible causes. This examination may involve conventional and/or digital impressions of your teeth and gums. You may also need X-ray imaging so that the tooth roots and jaw bone can be carefully examined.
The appropriate gummy smile correction will depend on what’s causing it. Options include:

  • Orthodontics : If the underlying reason for excessive gingival display is mild and due to the jaws or teeth, it can sometimes be fixed with orthodontics alone to shift the bite into the correct position and make the gums appear less prominent.
  • Veneers or crowns can make the teeth appear longer and improve the tooth-to-gum ratio if the teeth are too short thanks to wear or genetics.
  • Botox is a newer contender and it’s a much cheaper gummy smile treatment option than surgery.

However, the results are temporary and last about three to four months and it will only work when the upper lip is the culprit. A provider injects the lip with Botox, which paralyzes the muscle and prevents it from lifting too high when you smile. Georgetown Smile has partnered with Georgetown Aesthetic to provide this solution in house for our patients. Book an appointment with Tracy Holzman, BNS, RN today for your consultation.