Treating a Gummy Smile

A “gummy” smile is when your gums are disproportionate compared to the size of your teeth. This can be a result of excess gum tissue, smaller teeth, or a thin upper lip. 

Having a gummy smile is relatively common. However, it may keep you from smiling. You may avoid sharing your joy if you are self-conscious about your smile. There are several ways to treat a gummy smile

close up of woman with a pretty white smile gummy smile dentist in Knoxville Tennessee

Treatment Options

Your dentist can recommend a treatment option after determining the cause of your gummy smile. 

Dental Bonding, Veneers, or Crowns

One reason that your smile looks disproportionate is because of the size of your teeth. If your teeth are smaller-than-average, it can give the appearance of a gummy smile. There are a few different ways that your dentist can lengthen the look of your teeth. 

Dental bonding is a type of cosmetic resin. Dentists will use this tooth-colored material because of its flexible nature. If your teeth need minor lengthening, you can use dental bonding. It is a quick and simple way to even out your smile. 

Dental veneers are a stronger, more durable option to lengthen your teeth. While dental bonding is a quick alternative, dental veneers will last longer. Additionally, dental bonding may not be strong enough for all of your teeth. Therefore you need other options, such as dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that your dentist will place on the front of your teeth. 

For a strong, lasting option, consider dental crowns to lengthen your teeth. Crowns are like “caps” that your dentist will place on your teeth. Both dental crowns and veneers involve grinding down your teeth for proper placement. 


If you have too much gum tissue, your dentist may recommend a type of oral procedure called a gingivectomy. A gingivectomy removes excess gum tissue in order to alleviate a gummy smile. For a more seamless approach, your dentist may use lasers during the process. They will reshape your gums and get rid of the “gummy” look. 

Crown Lengthening

Another way your dentist can adjust your smile is through crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a procedure that exposes more of the natural tooth structure. With crown lengthening, the patient’s teeth are long enough. However, there is excess gum tissue that makes their smile disproportionate. During the procedure, your dentist will make small incisions around your teeth. Then, they will gently push back the gum tissue.


For some patients, the cause of their gummy smiles is due to a thin upper lip. To even out this issue, you may consider lip fillers. Additionally, some patients move their lips too high above their gums when they speak or smile. Botox is a proven treatment for this issue. It will paralyze the movement of the lips, making their smile more proportionate.