What Is a Gummy Smile?

A beautiful smile is one of the first things a person notices about you and increasingly, we are hearing from patients who are dissatisfied with theirs, not because of their teeth, but rather due to the amount of gum on show when they smile or laugh.

The term ‘’Gummy Smile’’ which is what this condition is often referred to, is where an individual shows a large amount of gum tissue when smiling, revealing an uneven tooth to gum ratio.  Although a gummy smile may be considered ‘’normal’’ many practices are seeing an increase in patients describing the significant impact this condition is having on their self-esteem.


Why Do I have a Gummy Smile and what can be done?

If you have a gummy smile, it is advisable to visit our specialist Periodontist to discuss what treatment options might be most suitable for you.  Your consultation will incorporate a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums to determine the level of excessive gingival (gum) display and the possible causes for this. Your consultation may involve taking digital impressions of your teeth as well as X-ray images of your jawbone and teeth. 

Some of the main causes of a Gummy Smile are listed below:

  • Excessive gum tissue
  • Over-developed elevation/hyperfunction of the muscle of upper lip
  • The upper lip and gums are joined very closely
  • Undersized teeth 

Depending on the severity and causes of your Gummy Smile you may require complex treatment interventions involving crown lengthening, braces, orthognathic surgery as well as crowns or veneers, but treatment options will be discussed with you before deciding on the most suitable next steps.


How is a Lip Repositioning Procedure Performed?

In many cases, patients who dislike their excessively gummy smile find the easiest and most permanent solution to be a lip repositioning surgery ,or ‘reverse vestibuloplasty’’ as it is often referred to.

A reverse vestibuloplasty also known as a lip lowering surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the amount the lip rises when smiling or laughing.

The procedure begins with a local anaesthetic injected into the gums to numb the area. Next, two minor incisions are made under the lip just below where your gums meet your upper lip and a small band of gum tissue is removed. Our specialist Periodontist can then modify the level your lip rises to when smiling or laughing based on your proportions and your desired result, lastly, your lip will be sutured to achieve the final position.


Benefits of Lip repositioning Treatment

Although results are reliable, many patients visit our practice wanting a permanent improvement to their Gummy Smile after having a series of injectable treatments that last for only a few months.

Providing your gingival (gum) display is over a certain threshold, a gum lift surgery would be the most effective and permanent solution for correcting a gummy smile.


To find out if Lip Repositioning surgery is the best solution for you, please call us on 0207 563 9989