How to fix a Gummy Smile

How to Fix a Gummy Smile without Botox

Last July, the New York Times did a piece on how to correct a gummy smile. While the author got a few things right, they sadly touted Botox as an “easy fix” to the problem. For most people, Botox is not the answer, simply because it doesn’t produce optimal or long-lasting results.


Actual patient pictured.

The Shape and Length of Your Gums Changes Your Smile

It’s true that your gums have a huge impact on your smile. No matter how bright and white it is, it doesn’t get noticed when your teeth don’t show as much as they should. Sometimes mother nature leaves people with gums that cover a disproportionate amount of the surface of a tooth and other times they’re just not symmetrical. The Times reported that around 14% of women and 7% of men have excess gum tissue. Anything more than a couple of millimeters leads to the gummy smile that people often seek corrective treatment for.

A Gum Lift is the Ideal Solution

Unlike Botox, gum lifts (also known as gingival contouring) are a permanent solution to a gummy smile. Botox doesn’t actually improve the smile- it only paralyzes the upper lip, so that less of the gums show for a couple of months. A gum lift eliminates the problem altogether. The Times tried to compare the procedure to the way treatment was handled decades ago, when lifts were done with a scalpel, but that’s not how they’re handled today. Nowadays, an electrosurge or laser is used, which results in a fast, instant results with minimal discomfort. Some people liken the feeling to having a sunburn on their gums, but it dissipates quickly, leaving a brilliant smile behind.

Gum Lifts Can Be Done Alone, or in Conjunction with Other Cosmetic Services

Slight reshaping of the gums is common when an expert cosmetic dentist performs a smile makeover or fits teeth for porcelain veneers. Dr. King routinely includes the procedure in her smile designs, in order to enhance symmetry and appearance. However, people who are happy with the general appearance of their teeth, but suffer from gummy smiles or the gingivitis that often comes with them, can have the treatment completed by itself, in a simple outpatient procedure.

If you’d like to correct your gummy smile without Botox, it’s important to work with an expert cosmetic dentist who will take precise measurements and has the experience necessary to produce beautiful and dramatic results. If you’re in the Atlanta area, schedule a consultation with Dr. King to see if a gum lift can provide you with the smile you deserve.