Treatment for Gummy Smiles in Los Angeles

Gummy Smile Treatment Gum Correction Patient Testimonial

Gummy Smile Treatments can give you a stunning smile

If you’re familiar with the term gummy smile or may have a gummy smile yourself, you understand one of the most frustrating things about a gummy smile is that it can make you feel self-conscious when smiling. If you’re not familiar with gummy smiles, it describes the condition where the upper teeth appear too short due to excessive gum tissue covering the teeth. Thanks to advanced treatments now available to remove excess gum tissue, we can resolve the issue through minimally invasive procedures such as aesthetic crown lengthening or non-surgical lip repositioning, enabling patients to smile again with confidence. One of the reasons why many patients turn to periodontists is to increase the aesthetics of their smiles. If you feel less confident about your gummy-looking smile, too, read more below about how we can detect and fix it.

Lots oF People Have Big Gums and Small Teeth

According to statistics, about 10 – 15% of all people on earth have a so-called gingival smile or a gummy smile with prominent gums and a small amount of teeth showing. What does it look like? It’s usually a smile in which you can see more than two millimeters of the upper gum. Exposure with a smile less than two millimeters of the upper gum is normal. The ideal option is a smile in which the gums are not visible at all, and only the upper incisors are exposed, while the lower front teeth are either not visible at all or are seen quite a bit.

Before and After Gummy Smile Procedures

Services Provided: Single tooth implantGummy smile, Botox

Services Provided: Aesthetic crown lengthening, Gummy smile: resulting from altered passive eruption

Services Provided: Aesthetic crown lengthening with gummy smile correction, resulting from Microdontia (small teeth) and altered passive eruption

Services Provided: Aesthetic crown lengthening for gummy smile correction and botox, as a resulting of a hyperactive upper lip with altered passive eruption

What Causes a Gummy Smile?

Several things can cause a gummy smile, from the early growth and development of your jaw bone to tooth eruption and its effect on the appearance of your gums to some of these other common causes of a gummy smile:

  1. Abnormal eruption of your teeth: We often see patients with a gummy smile caused by an abnormal eruption of their permanent teeth after losing their baby teeth which allowed excessive gum tissues to develop around the new adult permanent teeth, making them appear shorter than they are, causing a gummy smile.
  2. The muscle of your upper lip is overactive or hyperactive: Some people have a hyperactive upper lip where the muscles responsible for controlling the skin below the nose can cause your lip to rise farther than usual and exposing too much of your gums, creating the appearance of a gummier smile.
  3. Vertical maxillary excess (VME): How your jaw grew and developed can impact how your smile looks. Typically an overgrowth of the upper jaw, called vertical maxillary excess (VME), makes gums bulge out, creating a gummy smile.
  4. Altered passive eruption (APE): APE’s altered passive eruption is caused mainly by genetic or developmental factors that create excessive soft tissue over the tooth’s surface, creating a gummy smile.
  5. Microdontia (Small Teeth): Teeth that are small compared to the gums due to genetics or wear will create an excessive gingival display.

How to fix a gummy smile

Whether you have too much gum tissue or the natural positioning of your lips reveals too much of your upper gums, there are several common treatments to help you fix your gummy smile, which we will discuss more below. Depending on your specific needs, the treatment options will vary, but our Los Angeles periodontists Dr. Alexandre Aalam and Dr. Alina Krivitsky, are dedicated to helping their patients feel confident and comfortable when they smile, and with the treatment option they chose to improve their smile lines.

What is the best treatment for a gummy smile?

A smile with gums is often a purely aesthetic problem that does not affect the health of the teeth and does not depend on it. However, it’s better to schedule a consultation to understand what causes your gums to be more visible. When you find out the reasons, the doctor will suggest the appropriate method of excessive gum tissue correction, and you will be able to choose the time for treatment. Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky are experts in the treatment options used to improve the smile line and fix a gummy smile.

Depending on how much gum tissue each patient has and their specific needs, we may suggest one of the following appropriate treatment options such as:

  • Aesthetic crown lengthening
  • Surgical lip repositioning
  • Non-surgical lip repositioning (Botox)
  • Lip enhancement

WHAT TYPES OF GUmmy smile treatments ARE THERE?

Surgical Gummy Smile Treatment Options

 women's smile improves after crown lengthening gummy smile procedure

Aesthetic crown lengthening

As for aesthetic crown lengthening, this type of gummy smile treatment can help if you have excessive gum tissue covering the teeth. The extra gum tissue makes your teeth look too short and child-like, with an unnatural gingival contour shape. Also, too much gum tissue can negatively impact oral health and increase susceptibility to gum disease or periodontal infections, which is another reason to consider treatment.

While planning the procedure, it’s important to consider:

  • Current and future states of health of periodontal tissues.
  • The proportion of teeth and aesthetics of your smile.
  • The structure of the tooth’s roots and the ratio of the length of the root and crown.
  • Jaw bone condition.
  • Biological width as the distance from the bottom of the gingival groove to the crest of the teeth.

Therefore, the need for crown lengthening requires a very thorough diagnosis since a gummy smile correction should never disrupt the stability of the teeth on which it will be performed.

gummy smile lip repositioning before and after photo

Surgical lip repositioning

Surgical lip repositioning is another excellent treatment option to correct a gummy smile. It permanently restores a smile line by repositioning the upper lip to reduce the appearance of the gums. It is a safe and predictable procedure with minimal risk or side effects. Lip repositioning surgery is a simple 15-30 minutes surgical intervention which repositions the upper lip and limits movement of hyperactive lip muscles, so there is less gum exposed when speaking and smiling. Of course, it has no impact on other facial muscles, so you’ll be able to talk and express all your emotions with no ease.

Non-Surgical Gummy Smile Treatment Options

female patient after non surgical gummy smile treatment

Non-surgical lip repositioning (Botox)

If you are thinking about minimally invasive surgical alternatives, non-surgical lip repositioning is for you. This simple treatment utilizes botox to correct the appearance of a gummy smile. This treatment targets the levator muscles, the muscles that control the upper lip movement in the nasolabial fold area. Botox is injected into these muscles to restrict movement.

Botox overlaps the sensitivity of the muscles to nerve impulses, and as a result, the upper lip ceases to rise, reducing gum exposure. This technique is painless and straightforward and can be a good choice to correct your gummy smile.

The disadvantage of non-surgical lip repositioning is that Botox acts temporarily, and you will need to repeat the procedure after six months.

One of the widespread fears about Botox usage is that the face will look like a mask after injections. The truth is that it’s not necessary to apply a significant amount of Botox to achieve a good correction effect. Experts accomplish the desired result, using only 8-15 units of the remedy. This amount cannot negatively impact facial expressions, especially when applied correctly by a doctor. Further, injections are usually made with very thin needles so you won’t feel pain, and there will be no traces on the skin after the procedure.

We often start with this as the first option for patients so they can try out how they will look before committing to a long-term permanent solution like surgical lip repositioning. If you’d like to get a permanent result, take a closer look at the surgical lip repositioning we mentioned above.

gorgeous before and after smile from a patient in Los Angeles after a gummy smile treatment

Lip enhancement

One more solution for correcting a gummy smile without surgery is through lip enhancement. This method allows correcting a smile by using dermal fillers in the upper lip. Dermal fillers are injected into the upper lip to elongate the lip and cover the exposed gum. This procedure will affect covering the gums and help increase the thickness and improve the shape of your lips. If you’d like to add volume and plumpness, dermal fillers can also work to achieve this.

Gummy Smile FAQs

Q: Can a Gummy Smile Be Corrected?
Yes! You can correct a gummy smile due to excess gum tissue. There are several available gummy smile correction treatment options, like crown lengthening, lip repositioning, and botox. But the severity and correction depend on the patient’s symptoms, condition of the gum line, smile lines around lips and upper teeth, the desired appearance of lower incisors, upper jaw bone, and some lifestyle factors. Patients may require post-op periodontal measures to lessen periodontal complications seen after removing excess gum tissue.
Q: What Does A Gummy Smile Mean?
A gummy smile is a reference to when a person displays excess gum tissue when speaking and smiling. In some cases, a gummy smile is caused by excess gingival tissue covering the teeth, causing them to appear shorter and child-like. In other cases, the lip’s natural positioning and movement of the upper lip muscle can expose the gums when speaking, creating the appearance of a gummy smile. Many patients report this makes them very self-conscious when smiling and hinders their confidence.
Q: How much does it cost to fix a gummy smile?
Gummy smile surgery can cost patients anywhere from $500 to $9,000, depending on the individual patient’s needs and causes of the gummy smile. Since all patients are unique and some may only need non-surgical botox solutions, some may need several treatments or surgery to correct their gummy smiles. An exact cost and treatment plan requires visiting our office for an examination and consultation.
Q: Does Dental Insurance Cover Gummy Smile Surgery Cost?
The procedures used to treat gummy smiles are usually considered cosmetic, and most patient’s insurance will typically not cover such procedures. While there are some exceptions to the rule, such as when surgery is needed to repair an injury resulting from an accident, patients should talk with their insurance company and dental care provider to get specific information for their situation.
Q: Does gummy smile surgery hurt?
This procedure is very safe, and most patients describe gummy smile surgery as very quick and relatively painless, with minimal downtime in most cases. You will be given local anesthesia before the surgery to numb your gums so you won’t feel pain or discomfort during the procedure, but you may experience some numbness and tenderness after.

Do you have additional questions about gummy smile solutions?

Maybe, you’d like to get a doctor’s feedback on your particular case? Contact us today, and we’d be happy to get acquainted and help you smile bright!

Our process

Virtual Brentwood Office Tour
American Academy of Implant Dentistry
American Academy of Periodontology
Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
American Board of Periodontology
American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry
American Academy of Implant Dentistry
American Academy of Periodontology
Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
American Board of Periodontology
American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry