What Causes a Gummy Smile?

While a gummy smile can just be a result of a person having too much gums, there are a few other issues that could be going on that make a person’s smile appear gummy. Here are a few other reasons why someone’s smile may appear gummy:

Improperly erupted teeth – If someone’s teeth erupt improperly, they could end up with only part of their teeth showing, while the rest are hidden by the gums. When this occurs a procedure called crown lengthening is used to remove some gum tissue in order to reveal the teeth underneath.

Short teeth – Some people naturally just have short teeth due to genetics, or the teeth have shortened due to wear. In such a case removing gums could be harmful. Instead a patient can be treated with dental veneers and crowns that cover the original tooth and display more appealing gum to tooth proportions.

Short upper lip – Most people have lips that cover most of the gums even when smiling. If someone has a short upper lip, however, they could appear to have a gummy smile, when, in fact, their gum to tooth proportions are completely normal. In such a case the patient will have to undergo lip surgery in order to correct the abnormality.

Hypermobile upper lip – Some people don’t have very visible gums until they smile wide, at which point their upper lip extends further up than it does for most people. As with short-lipped people, these people will have to undergo lip surgery in order to correct the abnormality.

Long gums – For some people their smile is gummy because it’s actually too gummy. People with this condition grow longer gum tissue than most. These people undergo a treatment that’s similar to people with teeth that haven’t erupted properly. The procedure, called gum contouring, involves cutting back the gum tissue to achieve better proportions.

If you have a gummy smile, you can ask your dentist for options treatment options and work with them to find the right one for you.