Treatment for Gummy Smiles By Stephen Dowell, DDS on August 06, 2022

gloved hand pointing a pen at the gums on dental x-rays A smile that shows too much gum tissue is commonly called a “gummy smile.” While there’s nothing wrong with having a gummy smile, people who are unhappy with how much gum tissue shows when they smile can benefit from seeing a dentist. A dentist can treat gummy smiles to correct gum proportions and improve overall aesthetics. 

At Dowell Dental Group, Dr. Stephen C. Dowell offers gummy smile treatment to patients throughout MinervaOHCarrollton, OH, Dover, OH, and surrounding areas. To find out how Dr. Dowell can improve your smile, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. 

What Is a Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile, also called excessive gingival display, is when more of the gumline shows than desired when smiling. 

Excessive gum tissue can make the teeth look too small and affect the overall appearance of the smile. 

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

In most cases, the amount of gum tissue someone has or shows when smiling is related to their genetics. Some other possible causes of a gummy smile include:

  • Excessive gum tissue: Excessive gum tissue is one of the most common causes of a gummy smile. In most cases, excessive gum tissue is genetic and something someone is born with. 
  • Gum inflammation: In some cases, gum inflammation associated with gum disease can make the gums look larger. 
  • Hyperactive upper lip: A hyperactive lip describes a condition in which the upper lip lifts higher than average, exposing more gum tissue than usually seen when someone smiles. This can make the smile appear gummy. 
  • Malalignment and bite issues: Problems with the alignment of the teeth can make the smile look gummy, particularly when an overbite is present and the upper teeth protrude outward. 

Treatments for Gummy Smiles

There are many ways a dentist can help improve the appearance of a gummy smile. The right treatment depends on each patient’s unique needs and what is likely causing their smile to appear gummy. 

Some treatments that can be used to address a gum issues and enhance the overall appearance of the smile include: 

  • Laser gum contouring: Laser gum contouring is a treatment that uses a laser to remove excessive gum tissue and correct the gumline. This treatment can also help make teeth that look small due to too much gum tissue look more appropriate in size. 
  • Orthodontics: When alignment issues are causing the smile to look too gummy, orthodontic treatment may help. Orthodontics, including traditional metal braces and Invisalign®, can correct overbites and other issues to improve the overall aesthetics of the smile.  
  • Lip repositioning surgery: Sometimes called lip lowering, lip repositioning surgery can help those with hyperactive upper lips achieve a less gummy smile. This is achieved by removing a small amount of gum tissue under the upper lip so that the upper lip can be moved down and stitched in place.  

Find Out Which Treatment Is Right for You

To find out if treatment for a gummy smile is right for you, or to discuss other dental concerns, call (330) 364-1414 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephen C. Dowell.

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To schedule your consultation, contact us online, call us at (330) 868-5001, or reach out directly to our location that is most convenient for you. 

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