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Excessive gum-tissue also known as excessive gingival formation results in a gummy smile. This is the reason that a smile shows excessive gum tissue under the lip. It is a frequently unesthetic clinical condition that visually affects the balance between the teeth and gums.


A range of factors can result in a gummy smile:

  • Too much gum tissue: the teeth appear short because they did not fully erupt from the gums and still are partially covered by gum tissue. Gums can also grow over the teeth due to a condition called gingival hypertrophy.

  • Worn short teeth: teeth appear small in comparison with your gums when they are worn down or are naturally shorter than average

  • A short hyperactive upper lip: if the upper lip is too short, it can reveal more of your gums when smiling. In other cases, the upper lip is of normal length but rises too high when smiling.

  • Jaw problems: an overgrowth in the upper jaw, known as vertical maxillary excess, can cause your gums to bulge and disrupt the proportions of your smile


It is normal to see three millimeters or less of gum tissue. Anything that shows more than three to four millimeters of gums is called a gummy smile.

Many patients are unaware that there is treatment available for their gummy smile:

  • Restorations, such as veneers or dental crowns, can make worn or short teeth appear longer and balance the proportions of your smile.

  • Orthodontics can shift in mild issues the position of your teeth to reduce the amount of gum tissue that shows when you smile.

  • Corrective jaw surgery can be applied in cases of moderate to severe jaw protrusion, in combination with orthodontic treatment.


LASER application as a possibility for rectification:

  • If excessive gum-volume is the reason, an improvement can be achieved by gum reduction with the LASER (aesthetic gingival sculpting)

  • If the cause is a short upper lip frenulum, this can be treated also by LASER (frenectomy)

  • An unfavourable developed maxillary bone will need surgical crown-lengthening

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