What is gummy smile?

It is a smile that shows too much of the gums and makes teeth look shorter. This can make people very conscious about their smiles. Correction of such gummy smiles can drastically improve smile and make one more confident of displaying their smile in public.

What causes gummy smile?

Several factors can contribute to excessive show of gums while smiling.
  • Excess of gums covering teeth due to genetics or variations in gum development.
  • Hyperactive or short upper lip- making them rise higher exposing more gums when smiling.
  • Abnormal jaw development – like vertical maxillary excess, making gums more prominent
  • Altered tooth eruption making teeth appear shorter than they actually are.

What are treatment options for gummy smile correction?

The choice of treatment depends on cause of gummy smile. So a thorough evaluation of gums, teeth, bone with imaging scans and assessment of family history should be done to determine the cause and the suitable treatment.


  • Gum contouring and crown lengthening
If gummy smile is due to overgrown gums, contouring or reduction of gum line (gingivectomy) can be done to lengthen the teeth visible in mouth. It can be done with laser or surgical means, is done under anaesthesia and will reshape the gum line keeping in mind, the ideal anatomy of an aesthetic smile.


  • Lip repositioning
For hyperactive or short upper lip causing gummy smile, surgical procedures with lip can be done to bring it downwards and reduce appearance of gums.


  • Orthodontic treatment
This would be the preferred choice, in cases of abnormal jaw development being the reason for gummy smile. In that way, problems related to bite are corrected and appearance of gums is reduced, making smile more attractive.


  • Crowns / Veneers
This is a resort when other treatment options may not be suitable. Crown for front teeth along with gum contouring can be a viable to camouflage the defect and improve the smile.