How to Fix a Gummy Smile Without Surgery

How to Fix a Gummy Smile Without Surgery

August 30, 2023

12 min read

Do you feel like your smile shows too much gum? Excessive gum tissue can create a gummy smile, as well as a number of other factors, but thankfully, a gummy smile can be conveniently fixed in a cinch, and without surgery. From dermal fillers and Botox to gum contouring, there are several solutions available to fix gummy smile looks and allow your smile to shine bright.

To understand how to get rid of a gummy smile, our team at Metropolitan Skin Clinic is here to break it all down, including gummy smile botox injections in Minneapolis. Let’s dive right in!

What Is a Gummy Smile?

So, what is a gummy smile exactly? In the most basic definition, a gummy smile is a smile that shows your gum tissue more than usual. How much gum tissue shows in gummy smiles varies, but typically is defined as showing more than 2 millimeters of gum tissue above the upper teeth.

There are a variety of factors that may contribute to gummy smiles. For some, this is due to excess gum tissue, while for others it may be due to a short upper lip that exposes more gum when they smile. In addition, the position of the teeth can contribute to a gummy smile appearance, too.

If extra tissue shows when smiling, this is clinically referred to as excessive gingival display. This excessive gingival display can appear for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Short teeth: If your natural teeth are shorter than normal, your gums may be more visible.
  • Hyperactive lip muscles: A hyperactive upper lip can cause the lip to rise higher when smiling, revealing the gums.

While a gummy smile is not a serious medical condition, it can leave some feeling self-conscious, and thankfully, there are gummy smile correction options available to address this.

What Causes a Gummy Smile?


The display of excessive gum tissue in a gummy smile can occur due to many factors. While this isn’t a major medical concern, it can leave many searching for how to correct a gummy smile.

For those experiencing gummy smiles, some contributing causes include:

  • Genetics: Some people, due to genetics, are born with excessive gum tissue when they smile.
  • Hyperactive upper lip muscle: Sometimes, the muscle that controls the upper lip will be too strong, causing it to lift higher than it should.
  • Short upper lip: A shorter-than-usual upper lip will expose more gum tissue.
  • Misaligned teeth and jaw: If the lower and upper jaw are misaligned, or if the teeth are, then the gums will be more pronounced.
  • Gum tissue overgrowth: Some medications or conditions can cause excessive gum tissue, creating a gummy smile.
  • Abnormal tooth eruption: When teeth erupt incorrectly, they can create an uneven gum line.

Non-Surgical Options for Fixing a Gummy Smile

Can a gummy smile be fixed? Actually, it can!

If you are self-conscious of your gummy smile, there are quite a few gummy smile treatment options to explore to address the appearance of too much gum tissue showing. To navigate how to fix a gummy smile without surgery, here are a few of the top options.

Botox Treatment for Gummy Smile

One of the go-to options for treatment for gummy smile looks is Botox. Botox is an effective solution to reduce excessive gums for a less gummy look when a person smiles, and it’s a quick process.

This safe and cost-effective treatment will last anywhere from three to six months with minimal recovery, making it a great solution for fixing a gummy smile in a cinch. With effective botox offerings in Minneapolis, our team is happy to assist.

Dermal Fillers for Gummy Smile

Dermal fillers are another great solution when looking for a gummy smile fix. This treatment option will inject filler into your lips, plumping the upper lip to reduce the amount of gum shown. This will not only fix a gummy smile but plump lips in the process.

This option only takes 10 minutes and can last anywhere from six months to a year. While you may experience some swelling on the first day, it is a treatment with relatively few side effects.

Lip Repositioning

Lip repositioning surgery is another gummy smile surgery option that can fix a gummy smile.

This is ideal for those who show extra gum tissue in their smile due to a hyperactive upper lip. With this, lip repositioning surgery will surgically move your lip downward, helping to reduce the appearance of excess gum tissue and make your smile more proportionate. While this may sound intimidating, this gummy smile procedure is minimally invasive and incredibly effective for gummy smiles.



Crown lengthening procedures, or gingivectomy, are one of the most popular options for those with gummy smiles. This orthodontic treatment will remove gum tissue from the tooth, exposing more of the natural tooth.

This orthognathic surgery will lessen the amount of gum tissue on the natural teeth, unlike a veneer or crown which will add more to the tooth for a more proportionate look. This is a less invasive option than a veneer.

Porcelain Veneers

Another orthodontic treatment that will address the appearance of excess gum tissue in gummy smiles is using veneers or crowns. This is an ideal solution when there aren’t any underlying issues causing the gummy smile to appear. With this, a veneer or crown will be attached to the teeth, providing a purely aesthetic treatment.

For this option, dental professionals or orthodontists will attach veneers or crowns to the teeth, making them look longer and larger. This will help the teeth look more proportional to your gums and smile.

Gum Contouring

One of the final options for how to have a less gummy smile is gum contouring. With less gum contouring, this procedure will use special dental lasers in a minimally invasive procedure to reshape the gum line. Typically, laser gum contouring is done for purely aesthetic purposes, and will remove more gum tissue than a standard gingivectomy depending on your needs.

With both laser gum contouring and a gingivectomy, you will only need a local anesthetic for the procedure. While it may cause some discomfort, this will depend on how much gum is removed.

Can a Gummy Smile Be Fixed Naturally?

There are some cases in which a gummy smile can be naturally fixed. To avoid an orthodontic treatment or oral surgeon, here are some steps you can take to reduce the appearance of gums.

Smile Exercise

Exercise therapists have found that doing facial exercises every day, one to two times per day can help reduce the appearance of a gummy smile. There are four exercise steps to do this, including:

  • Massaging the wings of the nose along the corner of the mouth. Use an index finger to do this for 30 seconds to help correct the upper lip muscles if they raise too high.
  • Open your mouth and then close and hold the lips for 10 seconds. This will help the lip muscles cover the gums.
  • Keep smiling. Start by smiling, then close your mouth and open it slightly. When doing this, your mouth will cover more of the gums. Hold this position for a minute, and if your smile doesn’t cover the gums, press them with your fingers.
  • Suck on the cheeks. Make your mouth look like a fish and hold it for 30 seconds. This will help stretch the muscles around your cheeks and correct the position to fix your smile.

Use of Alternative Drugs

There are some drugs, like Phenytoin, that can cause a gummy smile. Drugs like this will cause excessive gum tissue to form, also known as gum hyperplasia. If you are experiencing this side effect, a doctor should be consulted to offer an alternative drug.

Scaling and Polishing

Gum inflammation can be a result of poor oral hygiene, causing you to have a gummy smile. With a few sessions of scaling, polishing, and deep cleaning, you can reduce gum inflammation for a smile you won’t feel self-conscious about.

How Much Does Gummy Smile Correction Cost?


The gummy smile correction cost depends on a number of different factors. Typically, the fix can cost as little as $300, but as high as $8,000 depending on the treatment you opt for and what causes a gummy smile for you. If you opt for a solution that requires multiple treatments or surgery, expect a higher cost.

To better understand the best treatment options for you and their cost, consult with your dentist or orthodontist to address your concerns with your gums.

Don’t Love Your Smile?

There’s no reason to feel self-conscious about your smile. To address your gummy smile, our team at Metropolitan Skin Clinic can help by using Botox or injecting Botox to solve your gummy smile in a cinch with minimal downtime.

To learn more about the options to address the gummy appearance of your smile, schedule an expert consultation today.

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