Gingival smile – ways to treat an embarrassing defect

Defects affecting the face are always particularly troublesome. It is difficult to hide them from our loved ones, friends and colleagues. Remaining perfectly visible, they reduce our sense of our own attractiveness, cause us complexes, in extreme cases they even push us to withdraw from life within the community.

This is the case with a gingival smile – a defect that becomes apparent when we smile. However, it is so characteristic that it becomes a serious problem for the person affected – it makes them try to control their smile, unable to fully enjoy positive experiences naturally. Are there any ways to remove this defect? And if so – which ones?

What is a gummy smile?

We talk about a gingival smile when the gums of the upper jaw are visible at the moment of smile. And although they are noticeable in almost all of us, in the case of this defect, a much larger surface is exposed. The person affected by the defect looks as if their gums are too large for their teeth.

The reasons for the formation of a gingival smile have not been fully understood. These include abnormal tooth development, their size, defect in the jaw structure, or too short upper lip.

Treatment of gingival smile

Regardless of the reasons causing this defect, the gingival smile can be corrected. Thanks to modern methods and the achievements of medicine, it is possible to remove the defect in an effective, safe and painless way. We will discuss three of them.

Botulinum toxin

Botox is not only used to remove wrinkles, fill lips and treat hyperhidrosis, but it turns out to be very effective in correcting a gingival smile. The procedure itself is extremely short and involves injecting botulinum toxin around the nasal wings. Thanks to this, the strength of the muscles supporting the upper lip is slightly reduced and it does not rise too high.

However, every patient who considers the possibility of using this form of treatment should read the list of contraindications for the procedure. In healthy people, it carries no risk, but it should be abandoned by those who are:
-during antibiotic therapy
-ill or cold
-with blood clotting disorders

-with neuromuscular disorders

Although the botulinum toxin procedure is not invasive, it is important to take care of yourself during the period immediately after. This means that:
-you should avoid physical exertion for about 6 hours after the procedure,
-facial expressions should be limited for the first several hours,
-the diet should consist of soft and easy-to-chew products,
-you should not drink alcohol for a minimum of 24 hours.

The effects of botulinum toxin injection will last 6 to 8 months – the gingival smile will disappear. After this time, it is worth undergoing another treatment.


Another of the non-surgical methods of treating gingival smile is the use of an orthodontic appliance. And although in many cases it turns out to be effective, it still has its drawbacks, which for many patients are unacceptable.

The orthodontic appliance allows you to correct the bite and improve the aesthetics of a smile, but these changes do not take place immediately after putting it on the patient’s teeth. Quite the opposite – the treatment usually lasts for several years. For many people this is much too long.

The problem may also be the very appearance of the device and the issue of patient comfort. Some of them have a serious problem with the presence of a foreign body in the mouth.

However, the advantages of this method include the durability of its effects.

Surgical treatment

The last category of treatment methods for gingival smile includes surgical methods. Their advantages include the durability of effects, but there are also disadvantages that you can’t fail to mention. One of them is the pain or discomfort that the patient may feel immediately after the procedure. It is also worth considering the fact that surgical intervention is not intended for everyone – there is a list of contraindications for performing the procedures.

One method of correcting gingival smile is to expose tooth crowns by removing excess gums from them. Porcelain veneers are then put on the crowns to ensure the desired aesthetic effect.

The second way is to undercut the frenulum. This method is chosen for those patients whose frenulum is hypertrophied or too low. In this simple way, the upper lip falls slightly, revealing a narrower gum bar, and the gum smile becomes a memory.

The number of methods of treating gingival smile is large enough that anyone affected by this defect can easily correct it. All you have to do is visit a beauty salon where you can get competent help.

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