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Can You Reduce a Gummy Smile Without Doing a Surgical Procedure?

I just recently had jaw surgery to correct my overbite. I assumed that this procedure would reduce my gummy smile. But that didn't end up happening. I want to get rid of the gumminess but don't want to go through another surgical procedure and I also don't want to pay too much for this correction.

What are my options at this point? And could veneers be a possible option for me. Should I talk to my Orthodontist surgeon or my orthodontist about it?

Doctor Answers 17

Botox or laser gum recontouring are great for this

If I were you I would try to Botox first to see if you even like the look of a lower lip. It only lasts 6 months and it will give you an idea of how you look. If you have small teeth with a lot of gum showing you may consider doing the laser gum recontouring to get rid of some of the gumline..It works great and really improves the look. It may not be perfect but its a nice alternative to severe maxillae surgery. Dr Thomas

Los Angeles Dentist
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Gummy smiles usually need surgery of some kind

Depending on how severe the gummy smile is, surgery may be the only option. If that was a desire from the first surgery, it should have been clearly stated, as surgery for an overbite normally has zero effect on a gummy smile. It is possible that the surgeon's only goal was the overbite.

If the gummy smile is extreme, Botox will have very little effect. SOME, but perhaps not as much as desired. Lip tacking or lip lengthening surgeries are moderately successful, as quite often the results are not as dramatic as hoped. Soft tissue solutions for hard tissue problems are known for being unpredictable.

If the roots of the teeth are long enough, a crown lengthening procedure may be an option, but that is still a surgery. This is where bone around the teeth is removed, perhaps 2 mm, and when the tissue heals more teeth are exposed. This WILL make the teeth look longer, so if they are already the right size, then another surgery should be considered (like having bone above the teeth removed, like a Lefort Osteotomy).

I suggest a consultation with a few surgeons and periodontists to see what would work best for you. If it is minor, laser gingivectomy might be enough.

Upper lip lengthening

Although this is a surgical procedure, you can do a lip lengthening procedure on the inside of your upper lip under local anesthetic like a dental procedure. There are a number of types of surgeries from release or elongation of the frenulum, W-plasty, V-Y advancement, muscle release, etc. that your surgeon can explain to you and what they would do to help the gummy smile.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Correcting excessive gingival display

Difficult to do without surgery.  Botox can work but lots of people end up looking distorted but it only lasts 10-12 weeks and gets very expensive over time
Laser surgery is ok for minor exposure but if major you can do a reverse vestibuloplasty.  These are minor surgeries compared to jaw surgery.

Since you don't want surgery widening the arch with a DNA Appliance can usually correct the problem but this is not inexpensive.  

The inexpensive alternative don't smile to large.  I have patients who practicew how they smile to control gummy exposure.  Not the best solution but inexpensive and no surgery


Ira Shapira, DDS
Chicago Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Gummy Smile Correction

You may want to find a cosmetic dentist in your area to discuss your options. In my cosmetic dental practice, we usually treat the gummy smile with crown lengthening, Botox or a combination of both. Crown lengthening sometimes requires porcelain veneers afterwards.
Hank D. Michael, DMD -Sarasota, FL

Hank D. Michael, DMD
Sarasota Dentist

Reduce gummy smiles

Botox is a very effective way at reducing a gummy smile
It works within 7 days and can lower your top lip upto 15mm

Stephen Pitt, BDS
Great Britain Dentist

Gummy smile

Correction of gummy smile depends on few things.

The length of the teeth - If the teeth are in a proper size in relation to your face then, then you should not have a gingivectom (gum surgery).

Length of the upper lip - Short upper lips (rare) can cause too much revealing of the gums. Your plastic surgeon could probably enhance it with fillers or Botox injections. This could become costly as well over time.

If none of the above, then unfortunately, the surgery has to be re-done to correct the maxillary excess (which is usually the cause).

Majid Jamali, DMD
New York Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Gummy Smiles can be Treated for the Mouth

Find a dentist in your area who can do Botox. The cost is minimal and the result is GREAT when you have Botox put where the lift miscles for your smile are located by your nose. Continuing to have it done will help with the lift of your smile, look natural and can give you some relief immediately. Good luck!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Gummy Smile

I am a "laser dentist" using the Biolase laser.  Let me set the record straight here that it has its limitations.  It is good for maybe raising the gum line 2 millimeters not much more.  For more result you should have conventions esthetic crown lengthening which is a very minimally invasive surgery.  You have to be sure that your teeth are able to have crown lengthening and how much.  This depends on your crowns and your roots and can be determined by exam and x-rays

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How to Reduce a Gummy Smile

This is a very common complaint with women who like their teeth and are unhappy with their smile because too much of the gum shows when they smile.  A very quick and non invasive approach to this problem, is to use a laser to conture the gum line and reduce the length of the gum,  This will make the teeth look much longer and a proportionate amount of gum line will be visible at the top of the tooth,  You can always opt forTheraputic Botox which will, in essence, show less of the gum, but you will have to come in periodically to maintain your smile.  I think Laser Gum Conturing is the answer here!  Find a good periodontist who is well versed with lasers and most dentists, both general and cosmetic, can do this procedure very well!  You will be happy with the results!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.