What Is a Gummy Smile?

When you look in the mirror and smile, do you see a row of symmetrical, long white teeth? Or do you see a row of short teeth and a wide expanse of pink or red gums? If you feel like all you can see is your gums, you have what many people consider a “gummy smile.” While from an oral health point of view, there is really nothing wrong, having a large expanse of gum showing when you smile can affect your self-confidence and leave you unwilling to smile.

gummy smile
The doctors at Anthem Periodontics can correct a gummy smile.

Not Aesthetically Pleasing

Most people tend to be very concerned with their physical appearance and living with a gummy smile is considered by many to be less than aesthetically pleasing. There are at least three well-known causes of gummy smile, teeth which have failed to erupt in a normal manner, a hyperactive upper lip muscles which pulls the upper lip too high when smiling, and an abnormal formation of the upper jaw.

The most common of these three causes is simply that the teeth failed to emerge fully, leaving you with what appears to be far too much gum and not enough teeth. According to the ADA (American Dental Association) the perfect smile is one in which the least amount of gum tissue shows when you smile. The gum tissue which does show should be balanced and have a nice evenly contoured look.

The Solution

One of the most popular solutions to a gummy smile is often referred to as a “gum lift.” When performing this particular procedure, Dr. DeAndrade or Dr. Allen will often use the latest in laser surgery techniques to remove the excess gum tissue and resculpt the remaining tissues to achieve the perfect smile his patients desire. In many cases the entire process can be done in a single procedure. The new technology used results in very little pain or discomfort, yet can achieve remarkable results.


To learn about correcting a gummy smile, please visit our website – or give us a call to schedule a consultation.