A gummy smile – medically known as excessive gingival display – is when too much gum tissue shows above your teeth when you smile. Our patients often tell us it makes them feel self-conscious and it can affect the way they smile, causing them to keep their lips closed or not smile at all. The good news is that a gummy smile can be fixed, restoring your smile and your confidence.
What is a gummy smile?
A gummy smile is simply a smile that shows “too much” gum above the teeth. The condition is often based on perception and you will likely know a gummy smile when you see one. A gummy smile is more common in women than in men, with 14 per cent of women and seven per cent of men thought to have excessive gingival display.
What causes a gummy smile?
A gummy smile can be caused by all sorts of factors, but most commonly it’s due to:
- Improperly erupted teeth partially covered by gum tissue, causing the teeth to look shorter
- Teeth that are disproportionately small compared to the gums due to wear or genetics
- A small upper lip
- An overactive upper lip that lifts too high when smiling
- Enlarged gums
- An overgrowing upper jaw that causes the gums to bulge
How is a gummy smile treated?
The treatment for a gummy smile depends on what’s causing it. Sometimes braces, jaw or orthodontic surgery are required, or veneers or crowns to correct the teeth. Other times, the problem can be fixed by surgically removing some of the gum tissue or repositioning the lips.
If the cause of your gummy smile is your upper lip, anti-wrinkle injections are a (somewhat surprising) treatment option. This method is cheaper, faster and less invasive, and has quick and effective results.
How do anti-wrinkle injections treat a gummy smile?
Anti-wrinkle injections contain a neurotoxin which is injected into the area between the nose and the upper lip to relax the muscles there. This limits the rise of the upper lip when you smile, effectively covering the gums and creating a more natural and appealing smile.
This is a minimally invasive procedure that lasts for three to four months, and treatments can become fewer and further between when repeated over time. Results are immediate (with full results visible within two weeks) and there is no downtime.
It's important that you receive a proper diagnosis for what is causing your gummy smile before you embark on a treatment plan, and anti-wrinkle injections should only be administered by a skilled and trained medical professional.
If you would like to speak to a Skin Doctor or Skin Therapist about your skin concerns, please call us or book your appointment online.