What can I do about a gummy smile?

One of the common cosmetic complaints patients have about their smile is not crooked teeth or yellowing enamel, but about ‘gummy smiles,’ where much of the gum is visible when the lip is raised in smiling.  Luckily there are solutions out there.

In extreme cases where a patient is considering complete teeth implant replacement surgery to restore unhealthy teeth and also wants to combat a gummy smile, the doctor can perform an alveolectomy to surgically remove a portion of the bone, instantly creating a higher gum line and hiding the natural gums once the fixed bridges are attached to the dental implants.

However, in most cases where patients are keeping their natural teeth, crown lengthening can hugely improve the appearance of a gummy smile.  With precision and care, a dentist can gently trim back the overgrown gums to give the tooth a longer, bigger appearance that draws the eye away from the gumline. This procedure is both an art and a science, and choosing an experienced, cosmetically-minded dentist who can both carefully alter the gums and shape them in a pleasing, symmetrical way is very important.

Dental veneers can be placed over crown-lengthened teeth to give the appearance of bigger teeth as well, which can balance out an otherwise ‘gummy’ smile.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Helen Voronina

Dr Helen Voronina is the principal dentist at "Dr Helen's Dental & Implant Studio". Having graduated from the University of Melbourne and later from the Brener Implant Institute, in her practice she places emphases on the implant, aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry. She is a member of the Australian Dental Association, The International Congress of Implantology and The Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID). She is a former chairperson for the National Dental Foundation and an official dentist for the Melbourne Hearts Football Club.