Gummy Smile

Home » Conditions » Gummy Smile

A gummy smile is when the smile has a significant amount of gum in proportion to the teeth which appear. This is a very natural occurrence, and we encourage people to embrace their unique smile. However, some people may be impacted by the overall aesthetic of having a gummy smile and may want a smile which predominantly shows just the teeth.

What causes a gummy smile?

A gummy smile is down to genetics, which influences the overall aesthetics of the mouth:

  • The teeth may be small in comparison to the gums.
  • Partially erupted teeth that have not been able to fully break through the gum line.
  • Gingival hypertrophy (where the gums become bigger)
  • Vertical maxillary excess (where the upper jaw continues to grow)
  • Smaller lips which can alter the perception of size.
  • Expressive facial abilities mean some people may talk with the lips showing more of their gums.

How to prevent a gummy smile?

Gummy smiles are not preventable. This is because they are natural and the result of genetics, instead you can explore treatments which can alter the aesthetic of a person’s smile.

How to treat a gummy smile?

A few different treatments can be utilized to correct a gummy smile, your dentist will discuss these options and help you navigate the appropriate treatment.

  • Orthodontics – Braces or Invisalign may be recommended to adjust the alignment of the teeth.
  • Gum contouring – where the gum is re-shaped by removing any tissue that is not needed.
  • Jaw Surgery – May be an option to explore if orthodontics or gum contouring is not the right solution.
  • Botox – Can be explored for limiting the mobility of the lips.

How to spot a gummy smile/symptoms?

A gummy smile can be identified as a person talks or smiles, as the upper lip lifts and moves to expose a greater portion of the gums. The gums may then make the teeth look short and the lips look thinner, though this is not the case, it’s just a matter of perspective and proportions.

A symptom some may experience is with self-esteem and their mental health.  Our smile is part of our identity, and for some, having a gummy smile can knock their confidence and impact their mental health. If this is something that you are experiencing, do not hesitate to book an appointment with your dentist and GP as they can help determine the best form of treatment to restore your overall happiness.


Where are we?

Just a short-walk from the nearest tube and DLR stops, German Dental is conveniently situated in the City of London, opening Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm for appointments.


German Dental Clinic
1-3 College Hill
Lower Ground


Nearby Tube Stations

Cannon Street

Cannon Street

0.2 miles


0.4 miles


0.4 miles

  • Patient Registration

    Use this online web form to request to become a new patient of German Dental Clinic.