Gummy Smile

San Antonio Dental Office

Gummy Smile: Do your gums dominate your smile?

When we meet patients with gummy smiles, they are usually frustrated. Why? Because no matter how beautiful their teeth are, their big gums take center stage. A gummy smile usually makes a smile look like big gums, small teeth. However, the gums are not always too big and the teeth aren’t always too small. It’s important to figure out if the troublemaker is the big gums, the small teeth, both or NEITHER (You read that right – read the section below to find out the causes and how to fix a gummy smile. You may be surprised!)


gummy smile patient in San Antonio

A Patient’s Gummy Smile

How to fix a gummy smile?

Dentists have several treatments to choose from that can minimize or completely eliminate a patient’s gummy smile. These solutions range from the simple Botox injections to more involved surgical procedures. This is where things get practical – Keep reading below to find out the four major causes of a gummy smile and how we fix them. (Read more on gummy smiles.)

1. You have a hyperactive upper lip:

If your upper lip muscles are overachievers that pull your lip up too high when you smile, you have a hyperactive upper lip. Your teeth and gums are the size that they should be. The only issue is the lip getting over-excited and jumping up too high. This can be easily treated with Botox injections.

hyperactive lip create gummy smile
2. Your teeth have worn down too short:

As teeth wear down they also slowly move down into the mouth. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have any way of chewing food, right? When the teeth move down, they carry the supporting bone and gum tissue with them creating a gummy smile. The solution to this kind of gummy smile involves a combination of restoring the teeth to their original length and moving the teeth into their original position. It can also require periodontal “crown lengthening surgery” to remove the excess bone and gum tissue and root canal therapy to treat the exposed nerves. Getting the correct diagnosis is crucial in these complex cases.

short and worn out teeth create eruption and gummy smile
Actual Patient
3. Your big gums & small teeth look that way because your gums refuse to let go:

Sometimes teeth look too short because they are covered by too much gum tissue in a very gummy smile. This is called ?Altered Passive Eruption? and can be fixed with a gum removal and contouring surgery.

gummy smile in a young adolescent due to altered passive eruption
Actual Patient
4. Your jaw (maxilla) is too long:

When the upper jaw bone grows too long, it shows up as a lot of extra gums in the smile. It?s only in the last 50 years or so that oral surgeons started fixing this condition by reducing the jaw bone to normal height. This jaw surgery repairs both the cosmetic issues and any other accompanying jaw or tooth issues. We partner with fantastic specialists in the area to coordinate these surgeries.

maxillary overgrowth leads to gummy smile
Actual Patient

Click below to learn more

Multi-Disciplinary Smile Makeover

Multi-Disciplinary Smile Makeovers

When creating a new smile takes a bigger team!

Periodontal Surgery

Adding and Removing Gum Tissue is a Fine Art

Excessive Gum Tissue Correction

Sedation Solutions

Dread the Dentist? Imagine Being Able to Sit Calmly in a Dental Chair with NO Anxiety?

Sound Impossible? Dental Sedation helps…

Dental Crowns

Complex Perio-Restorative Solutions for Gummy Smiles

Correcting Gummy Smiles may require rebuilding the teeth as well

Interested in getting a digital denture?

Book Online Today or Call to Schedule (210) 600-9881