Understanding the Causes of a Gummy Smile and How to Treat It

January 30, 2023

A gummy smile is a condition where the upper lip is raised abnormally high when smiling, resulting in an excessive display of gum tissue. This condition is also referred to as ‘gingival display’. There may be several reasons for why you have a gummy smile. Common causes of gummy smiles can be attributed to genetics, an overgrowth of gum tissue, misaligned teeth or jaw structure and even certain medications. Treatments for gummy smiles range from orthodontics to Botox injections and laser surgery.

The Different Types of Gummy Smiles & Their Causes

Gummy smiles are a common dental condition where the gums are exposed when a person smiles. This condition is caused by several factors, including genetics, excessive gum tissue, misaligned teeth and overgrowth of the upper lip muscles. It can also be caused by certain medications or medical conditions. Understanding the various types of gummy smiles and their causes is essential in finding an effective treatment plan to reduce excessive gingival display. Your prosthodontist or dentist can go over your history and determine the underlying cause of why you have a gummy smile with you to then determine the best course of treatment should you want one. Keep in mind that most of the time, a gummy smile is not a sign of an underlying condition, so there is no need to panic.

How to Diagnose & Treat a Gummy Smile

Diagnosing why you have a gummy smile is fairly straight forward. If you smile and see excessive amount of upper gum, you likely have a gummy smile. A gummy smile occurs when too much of the gums are exposed when a person smiles. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, and it is important to seek professional help to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause.

Treatment options for a gummy smile include orthodontic treatment, surgery, and cosmetic treatments such as Botox injections. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it is important to discuss with your dentist or orthodontist which option is best for you. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can improve the appearance of your smile and boost your confidence.

The Benefits & Risks of Laser Surgery for Treating a Gummy Smile

Laser gum reshaping surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to correct a gummy smile. During the procedure, a laser is used to reshape the gum line, reducing the amount of visible gum tissue when smiling. Risks associated with the procedure include potential complications such as bleeding and infection, though these can be minimized with proper pre- and post-operative care. Benefits of this type of surgery include improved aesthetics and self-confidence, as well as reduced risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.


A gummy smile is a common condition where your upper lip covers less of your gums than it should when you smile. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as jawbone structure, gum tissue, and the position of your teeth. Houston Dental offers an array of services to help create a more confident smile. Our experienced dentists can assess why you have a gummy smile and recommend treatments to help you achieve the beautiful look you desire. Schedule an appointment today and see why Houston Dental is the premier choice for restoring smiles in Houston! Contact us today!

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