Gummy Smile

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An overabundance of gingival exposure, colloquially referred to as gummy smile, plagues a considerable portion of society. This predicament arises when the superior lip ascends excessively, unveiling an inordinate quantity of gingival tissue during a grin. A surgical intervention known as gingivectomy, or crown elongation, ameliorates this cosmetic dental quandary by excising superfluous gum tissue, unveiling additional tooth surface and engendering a harmonious, visually appealing smile. (1)

A conjecture by some specialists posits that a staggering 10 percent of individuals aged 20 to 30 deem their smiles excessively gingival. To perform this intricate procedure, one requires the expertise of a periodontist, a dental virtuoso concentrating on periodontal ailment prevention, diagnosis, and therapy, in addition to addressing other gum-associated maladies. The periodontist meticulously assesses the patient's oral well-being and ascertains the most propitious strategy for executing the gingivectomy. (2)

Gummy Smile
Procedure Details
Duration 1 hour
Age Limit + 18 years old
Pain after surgery 1-2 days
Working after surgery 1 Day
Anesthesia Local Anesthesia
Hospital Stay Same-day Discharge
Recovery Time 1 Week
Surgical Procedure Yes

Definition and Overview

A gummy smile is a condition in which a person's gums appear excessively prominent when smiling. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, a short upper lip, and overgrowth of the upper jawbone, or improper tooth eruption. The condition can make the teeth appear small, uneven, or misaligned, and may cause self-consciousness and discomfort when smiling.

In addition to the cosmetic concerns, a gummy smile can also impact dental health and function. Excessive gum tissue can make it difficult to properly clean the teeth and gums, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, a gummy smile can affect speech and eating, making it difficult to bite and chew properly. It is important for individuals with a gummy smile to seek treatment from a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to not only improve the appearance of their smile but also to ensure their overall dental health and function.


The type of procedure performed to correct a gummy smile will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. One common treatment option is gum contouring, which involves removing excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth's surface. This can be done using a scalpel, laser, or other surgical instrument. Another treatment option is orthodontic treatment, which may involve using braces or clear aligners to reposition the teeth and reduce the prominence of the gums. In some cases, a combination of gum contouring and orthodontic treatment may be used to achieve the desired result.

Another treatment option for gummy smile is Botulinum toxin injection, also known as Botox. This procedure involves injecting a small amount of Botox into the upper lip muscles to relax them, which can reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. This is a non-surgical option that provides quick and effective results with minimal discomfort and downtime.

However, the results of Botox injections are temporary and will require repeat treatments every few months to maintain the desired effect. The type of procedure recommended will depend on the individual patient's needs and goals, and it is important to consult with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Gummy Smile Risks and Side Effects

According to Erin Storm, gummy smile surgery, while beneficial for aesthetic improvement, carries several potential side effects. Ensuring awareness of these risks is crucial before undertaking the procedure for a more balanced smile.

The procedure may cause side effects like:

  • The onset of tooth decay, compromising dental health.
  • Risk factors also encompass teeth potentially becoming loose or even being lost over a period.
  • Patients may endure pain as a consequence of the surgery.
  • Swelling might manifest, adding to post-operative discomfort.
  • Bleeding is also a plausible occurrence following the procedure.
  • Lastly, as with various surgeries, infection poses a significant risk.

Each of these risks contributes to the overall complexity and considerations that must be weighed when opting for gummy smile surgery.


Ideal candidates for gummy smile treatment are individuals who have excessive gum tissue that is visible when smiling and who have realistic expectations for the outcome of the treatment. Candidates should be in good overall health and have good oral hygiene habits. It is also important for candidates to have a thorough consultation with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon who can evaluate their individual needs and goals and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

Candidates for gummy smile treatment should also be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. These may include bleeding, infection, swelling, and changes in sensation. It is important for candidates to discuss these risks with their dentist or oral surgeon and to follow all pre- and post-operative instructions to minimize the risk of complications.

Candidates should also be prepared for the cost of the procedure, as it may not be covered by dental insurance. It is important for candidates to weigh the potential benefits and risks of gummy smile treatment and to make an informed decision in consultation with their dentist or oral surgeon.


Following gummy smile treatment, patients can expect some swelling, discomfort, and bleeding, which can be managed with pain medication and proper oral hygiene. Patients will be required to follow a soft food diet for the first few days after surgery and avoid any strenuous physical activity for several weeks. Patients may also be required to use a special mouthwash or oral rinse to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection. It is important for patients to attend follow-up appointments with their dentist or oral surgeon to monitor their progress and ensure that they are healing properly.

In addition to following all post-operative instructions provided by their dentist or oral surgeon, patients should also maintain good oral hygiene to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection. Patients should also avoid smoking or using tobacco products, as this can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Patients may experience some temporary sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but these symptoms should subside within a few days to a week. It is important for patients to attend all follow-up appointments with their dentist or oral surgeon to monitor their progress and address any concerns that may arise.


The results of gummy smile treatment can usually be seen within a few weeks to several months after the procedure, depending on the type of treatment performed. Patients can expect to have a more aesthetically pleasing smile, with a more balanced and proportionate gum line. The results of gummy smile treatment are permanent, but it is important for patients to maintain good oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-ups to ensure the longevity of the results.


Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to correct this condition, including gum contouring and orthodontic treatment. If you are considering gummy smile treatment, it is important to consult with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon who can evaluate your individual needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. With proper care and attention, patients can achieve a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile and enjoy the long-term benefits of gummy smile treatment.

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