Gum Appearance and Gingivectomy


Some patients have excess gum tissue which covers a significant portion of their teeth. This can make the teeth appear smaller and give the patient what appears to be a gummy smile. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry has solutions which can help correct this issue.

While a gummy smile does not pose any risk to the patient’s health or cause issues with oral hygiene, it can be a cosmetic issue which patients want to correct. Some patients are simply not satisfied with their gum-to-teeth ratio. Modern dentistry offers several cosmetic solutions which can help improve the appearance of your smile and reduce the appearance of prominent gums.

Before discussing treatment options, it is important to follow up with a dental professional to determine the cause for excess gums compared to the teeth. While there are numerous factors which can cause the issue and contribute to the problem, it typically involves the following: patient’s tooth size, size of the patient’s upper lip, lip movement, an incorrect bite, and gum overgrowth.

The dentist will likely obtain X-rays, calculate the jaw and gum-to-tooth ratios, and evaluate the patient’s lip movement. This information will be used to determine which treatment option will best meet the patient’s needs.

Some of the most common treatments used to treat the appearance of gums are summarized below.


Porcelain Veneers

Veneers which are used in combination with a gingivectomy can have a significant impact. The porcelain veneers are customized for each patient. They can effectively lengthen the teeth while still maintaining a natural appearance. Porcelain can closely match the enamel of the natural teeth. This ensures that the veneers are nearly identical to the natural teeth.



A gum lift or gingivectomy, is a surgical procedure which is commonly used to remove excess gum tissue. Once the gums are modified, the teeth appear longer and improve the gum-to-tooth ratio for the patient. The dentist can use a scalpel or laser for the procedure. The tissue is removed and the dentist can reshape the gums to enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile.



Some patients may require an orthodontic treatment in order to achieve properly aligned teeth. Orthodontics can aid in moving the teeth upward, giving the upper lip the ability to hide the gums. This results in less gum tissue when the patient smiles.



Botox can be injected into the patient’s upper lip which allows the lip to relax. The result is the elimination of tension which may causing the appearance of excess gum tissue. Less gum area is visible when the patient smiles because of the lip muscles are more relaxed. This treatment option is excellent for patients with a gummy smile caused by their overactive lip muscles.


Patients who have a gummy smile and are concerned with their appearance should follow up with their dentist. The dentist can determine the underlying cause of the issue and discuss applicable treatment options. Many of the cosmetic solutions summarized above have relatively quick recovery times and can dramatically improve your smile.

How Painful is a Gingivectomy