Gummy Smile - Don't Bother, We Can Fix It! - Jackson Dental - Best Dental Care in New Jersey

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everyone's heart.” Anthony J. D'Angelo 

An honest smile from your heart shows happiness. No matter how low a person is feeling, one beautiful smile can make them feel good and brighten up their day. Your million-dollar worth smile enhances your confidence and enables you to form connections. However, having conditions like a gummy smile can make someone too conscious to smile. You have a gummy smile when you feel that your gums show more than your teeth, or you have excessive gum tissue that overshadows the upper set of your teeth.  

A gummy smile is a condition in which your smile shows more of your gum tissues than you want and your teeth appear smaller compared to the tissue. In clinical terms, it's known as the excessive gingival display. If you think your smile is too gummy, it might be your personal opinion about aesthetics. But this condition is very common. Around 10% of people between 20-30 years of age think that their gums show too much when they smile. Let's talk about the excessive gingival display condition in detail.

What causes a gummy smile?

A gummy smile or excessive gingival display is generally determined when you smile, and more than 4 mm of gums is visible above the upper teeth. It may be either limited to a few teeth or spread across the whole smile. This condition is observed more in people who are in their 20s and 30s, and its occurrence decreases with age. You may think that a gummy smile makes you look unattractive. But apart from this, it can be a sign of poor oral health and may require dental checkups. It also puts you at the risk of gum infections and bad breath. Here are some of the reasons why you may have a gummy smile:

  • Genetics 

Genetics plays a significant role in a gummy smile for most patients. It may be because of the combination of small teeth, large jaw, or smaller upper lip that the gums are more visible. There is also a condition known as Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis (HGF), in which there is an augmentation in the keratinized gingiva over time. Though this condition is rare it may become severe enough to cause problems in speaking.

  • Bodily Changes 

With time, our body's anatomy keeps on changing. In phrases of pregnancy or puberty, the body experiences hormonal imbalances. These changes in the hormones may result in a gummy smile. Some medications can also cause your gums to grow too much around the teeth. Drugs that suppress the immune system, prevent strokes and control high blood pressures can cause enlargement in the gums. 

  • Dental Hygiene 

Proper oral hygiene is essential not only for your teeth but your gums as well. When you don't brush your teeth, plaque build-up on the teeth and under the gums. It results in gum inflammation and enlargement. If you wear braces, you have a high chance of getting a gummy smile. Traditional braces make brushing and flossing difficult. It also results in the build-up of bacteria around the gums, causing inflammation and a gummy smile. Also, patients who suffer from gum problems avoid brushing and flossing the affected areas due to pain. It worsens the condition further.

Treatment Procedures 

Considering the risk to your oral health and the psychological impact of a gummy smile, you can undergo dental procedures to correct your smile. Modern cosmetic dentistry, not only enhances your aesthetics but also the dental procedures that ensure your oral well being. Depending upon your requirements and the oral conditions, you can go for any of the following procedures to correct your gummy smile.

Orthodontic Treatment

A gummy smile can be caused because of your teeth. When your teeth have erupted too far, orthodontic braces are used to drive the teeth back to the suitable position in the gums. When the teeth and gums move up, cosmetic dental installments such as affordable dental crowns in New Jersey and veneers can be added to align the top and bottom set of the teeth and restore the tooth structure.  

Braces are one of the most effective methods to treat a gummy smile because of a bad bite. A bad bite is when the teeth of the upper jaw or maxilla do not align properly with the teeth of the lower jaw. With braces, your teeth reposition and align symmetrically over time so that your gums look flatter and you don't have a gummy smile anymore.

Aligning your bite with braces not only corrects your gummy smile but also improves your oral functions. It results in enhanced speech and less trouble in speaking due to orthodontic problems. It also enhances your oral health and gut health as chewing and biting become better. Considering the benefits of getting orthodontic braces, if you decide to treat your gummy smile with this procedure, here are the steps that you can expect:

  • When you reach your dentist's clinic for getting braces, the first thing you will undergo is cleaning your teeth. Your teeth must be totally clean and dry before the installation.


  • Next, the orthodontist will start attaching the brackets to your teeth. Brackets are small devices made up of ceramic. It holds the wires on your teeth in place. To fix the brackets, your orthodontist will place a small amount of glue on your teeth and shine a blue light to set it. This glue isn't toxic.


  • Once the brackets are attached, the orthodontist will put a metal band around your back molars. After choosing a band suitable for the size of your tooth, the orthodontist will apply glue to the bands as well, set it with the blue light, and glide it on your tooth.


  • Once the brackets are in position, the next step is attaching the archwire to it. To hold the wire in place, the dentist will wrap a small rubber band around each bracket. Finally, the end of the archwire is cut so that it doesn't touch the gums at the back of your mouth. 



Gingivectomy is an oral surgical process that your dentist might recommend if the surface of your teeth is covered by too much gum tissue. This process is also known as gum contouring.

The gingivectomy surgery process is a fast procedure that can be performed at a dental clinic. Depending on your choice, the dentist will use a scalpel or a laser to remove the extra gum tissue. The gingivectomy involves the following steps:

  • The first time when you visit the dental clinic, the dentist will help you determine the right type of procedure to treat the gummy smile. Once you decide to go for a gingivectomy, you will get an appointment for the procedure.


  • Before the surgical process, your dentist will use a special marker to mark your gums and determine how much gum tissue will be removed. They will also tell you about the procedure. He may show you how your smile will look after the surgery through digital imaging.


  • Once the dentist marks the tissue, the next step is to apply local anesthesia to your mouth. The local anesthesia will numb the area so that you don't feel any discomfort. During the process, you will remain awake but won't have any kind of pain. If you have a phobia of needles or surgical procedures, it's always best to consult with your dentist beforehand.


  • Ten minutes after the injection of local anesthesia, the areas will numb, and your dentist will start removing the extra gum tissue through laser technology or a scalpel. This process may take 1-2 hours to finish.


  • Once the process is done and you get satisfactory results, your dentist will give you detailed instructions about caring for your teeth and gums. You will also get informed on what you should not eat and drink. It has been advised to avoid hot beverages such as tea and coffee and stick to eating only soft food items. It is also crucial to avoid spicy, warm, or hot foods until the gums completely cure. You should follow all of the instructions by your dentist and take care, especially for one-week post-surgery. Do not consume alcohol or smoke tobacco during the healing time. Also, avoid taking medicines on your own as it may affect you adversely. Refrain from taking aspirin as it results in even more bleeding.


Lip Repositioning Surgery

Another reason why your gums may be more prominently visible is because of the position of your lips. It plays a great role in the formation of your smile. When your lips are distant from the base of your teeth, it reveals more gum tissue. This condition can be treated by lip repositioning surgery. 

The lip repositioning surgery can improve the appearance of a gummy smile and provide results immediately. In this process, the dentist balances the proportion of gums, lips, and teeth. After this process, you get a fuller lip that covers the extra gum tissue and enhances your aesthetics. The purpose of lip repositioning surgery is to restrict the above movement of the upper lip so that the gum beneath is not revealed too much. The lip repositioning surgical process involves the following steps:


  • If you consider getting this surgery done, you must be in good health overall. As a prospective patient, you should be willing to quit smoking several weeks before and after the surgery. This will ensure that you heal properly.


  • Once you reach the dental clinic for the procedure, the first step would be getting local anesthesia. Your dentist will numb the area in your mouth so that you don't feel any pain during the process.


  • Next, the dentist will remove a strip of tissue from the upper lip. The newly revealed area is then stitched up into a lower, more aesthetically desirable place. It results in the lowering of the top lip and reduction in the visible gum areas. The whole process takes 30-45 minutes to perform. The benefits of the procedure can be seen immediately. If there is any kind of swelling, it will improve as you heal with time.


  • This surgical correction for a gummy smile is a permanent solution. Once this process is completed, no follow-up surgeries are required. However, it is essential to follow the instructions given by your dentist for healing. Special attention should be given to the instructions on eating and drinking. 

Several patients may prefer to choose non-surgical options to treat their gummy smiles and avoid surgery. But lip repositioning surgery is one of the most effective treatment methods that doesn't involve any external scarring. Moreover, there are very few non-surgical procedures that treat excessive gingival display effectively.


Jaw Surgery

If you have an excessive gingival display and the reason behind it is your jaw, your dentist may recommend jaw surgery. Also known as orthognathic surgery, this procedure balances the length of your upper and the lower jaw. The jaw surgery for correcting gummy smiles requires a lot of planning. Sometimes, you may have to wear orthodontic devices or braces before the surgery. These braces are usually installed for 12 to 18 months before surgery to balance and align the arches in your mouth in preparation for surgery. Following are the steps involved in this treatment procedure:

  • When you decide to undergo orthognathic surgery, your dentist along with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon prepare a treatment strategy. A maxillofacial surgeon is trained to handle surgery of the face, the oral cavity, facial trauma surgery, neck, etc. The dentists will take the pictures, X-rays, and models of your jaw. It may also require reshaping of your teeth or covering them with crowns for the correction in the way the teeth align together.


  • Next, with a computer-guided treatment method, CT scan, and temporary anchoring device, the movement of your teeth is assisted so that you don't have to wear braces for a longer time.


  • Before the beginning of the process, you will be given general anesthesia. This procedure takes place in the hospital and requires 2-4 days of stay.


  • The oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform the procedure inside your mouth so there are no visible facial scars. Though small incisions may be required.


  • During the process, the surgeon will make cuts in the jawbone and move it in the desired position. After the placement, tiny bone plates, wires, screws, and rubber bands are used to secure the bones into new positions. The small screws used by the surgeons get integrated into the bone structure eventually.


  • With this surgical process, both your upper jaw and lower jaw are balanced and so is your smile. Post the surgery, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by the doctor regarding your oral hygiene, food, medications rest, etc. Along with avoiding any kind of strenuous activity, it is also essential to avoid the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.


  • It may take 6-12 weeks after the surgery for the initial healing. Initial jaw healing typically takes about six weeks after surgery. Once the jaw has healed, your orthodontist may install braces in your teeth to align the jaw.


Orthognathic surgery is an invasive process, and it may take a few years for you to go through the whole process. Hence it is suggested only when the visibility of gum tissue is extensively too much (more than 7mm.)



While smiling, if your lips move far above your gum line, it may cause a gummy smile. If you wish to correct your gummy smile without undergoing any surgical procedure, Botox might be the solution for you. This process isn't invasive and can be finished quickly. Botox consists of botulinum toxin type A. When it is injected, it relaxes the muscles in the top lip and limits its movement while you smile. Due to this the gums remain covered with the upper lip.

It may require the injection of two or more units of Botox in the area between the top lip and the nose. It reduces the appearance of a gummy smile and provides you with a natural and appealing smile. Botox treatment is a remarkably effective procedure to treat gummy smiles and its results generally last up to 3 months. It may not require you to take a rest and you may return to work immediately after getting the treatment. However, it may take up to two weeks for the results to occur completely. The results may vary from person to person.

Botox injections cause a very little discomfort, and the results are quick and natural. It is also a cost-effective option as compared to other surgical processes. Depending on the results required, the injection can be adjusted. However, if you get too much Botox injected, your smile may look distorted. Another drawback of these injections is that you may have to repeat those every three to four months to maintain that perfect smile constantly.


Teeth Cleaning

If you have observed that your smile has become a gummy smile recently and wasn't like that from earlier, you need professional teeth cleaning. There might be several reasons due to which you may develop a gummy smile. Medications for the management of high blood pressure result in the swelling of gums. Sometimes, not following a proper oral care routine also results in the swelling of the gums. When you don't clean your teeth regularly, plaque builds up on the teeth and beneath the gums. This plaque hardens to form tartar which only a dentist can remove. This combination of plaque, tartar, and bacteria may cause gum infections resulting in swelling. In such a case, getting your teeth cleaned professionally will treat your gummy smile. Your dentist will remove all the buildup from the root surfaces that cause your gum to swell. After a professional cleaning, you should take proper care of your teeth and keep them clean by brushing and flossing daily. If certain medications are causing swelling in your gums, you can consult with your doctor to get alternatives. It is advised to get your oral health monitored by your dentist every six months. 


We can fix it 

Irrespective of why you have a gummy smile, it holds you back from expressing your happiness freely. Most of the people who have this condition feel conscious about their looks. It also affects their self-esteem and confidence. Case studies have even shown that people with gummy smiles avoid smiling or tend to cover their mouths with their hands. Getting your smile corrected may sound like a painful or uncomfortable process, but with modern dentistry, everything can be managed without any inconvenience. 

Fixing a gummy smile can be a life-changing process. Though you have several doubts and worries about the process. Questions like "How will I look after fixing my gummy smile?" "What if it comes back after some time?" or "Is it worth all the money?" may pop up in the mind. But it's completely fine to have all the doubts. It is always best to consult with your dentist about your queries and know about the procedure, the cost, post-surgery care, etc. 

At Jackson Dental, we strive to clear every doubt of yours before you decide to get a gummy smile correction procedure. We understand that you might be having dental anxiety. From the beginning to the end, the whole process could be overwhelming. Hence, we make sure that you feel comfortable at every stage. Right from the first visit, we connect with you. We are an affordable dentist in New Jersey. We also understand the psychological impact and the effect on self-esteem because of being too conscious to smile.  

When you visit Jackson Dental, we monitor your oral health, and our team of experts provides you with the best possible treatment options. Why undergo a gum contouring process if your problem can be solved by professional teeth cleaning and you can get the best dental care in New Jersey. Here, at Jackson Dental, we have a team of experienced professionals who provide you patient-centric care with utmost comfort.  

Our highly skilled dental professionals and state-of-the-art technologies in modern dentistry allow us to provide several oral and cosmetic dentistry procedures to treat your gummy smile. With us, you also get the best dentures in New Jersey. From teeth cleaning to gum contouring and from orthodontic procedures to surgeries, Jackson Dental is the Best Family Dentist in New Jersey and a one-stop solution to provide you with your perfect smile. 



Your one smile can make so many other people smile too! When you hold yourself back from smiling, you let go of the opportunity to spread happiness and connect with people around you. A gummy smile can be because of genetics, anatomy, or hormonal changes, but it shouldn't affect your self-esteem. Modern dental procedures can correct your smile and let you hide or get rid of the extra visible gum tissue while adding proportion to your lips, gums, and teeth. Moreover, it is not always necessary to undergo invasive surgical procedures to treat your gummy smile. Non-invasive options such as Botox injections can give you a perfectly balanced smile almost immediately and without any pain or discomfort. Depending on your budget and your oral conditions, your dentist will suggest the best possible procedure to enhance your smile. However, you shouldn't forget that no matter how your smile looks, you can always make the world happier by smiling and making others smile.