What does it mean – a gingival (gingival) smile in an infant, child, or adult, not everyone knows, especially if they are far from medicine. At the same time, this physiological violation occurs in dental practice quite often. Even though it does not affect the health of the teeth, it is desirable to remove it. About why this needs to be done, and what methods are used for this, the specialists of dentistry “Dentika” tell.

gingival smile line

What it is?

Every person smiles differently. Someone only lips, others – in the whole mouth. It should look aesthetically pleasing, otherwise, the smiling person will experience psychological discomfort.

When the gums are very visible (more than 2 mm), it seems as if they are bare – this is called a gingival smile (English “gummy smile”). Ideally, they should not be noticeable. However, exposure less than 2 mm is also considered the norm.

This is a physiological feature, not a disease. It does not affect the health of the oral cavity in any way, but it causes aesthetic and moral discomfort, as it does not look very attractive. Although this is debatable, because beauty standards are a controversial topic, everyone’s tastes are different.

However, if this highlight has become your complex, because of which you are embarrassed to smile, of course, it is better to perform a correction of the gingival (gingival) smile. Qualified specialists of the dental clinic “Dentika” will help you with this.


From an anatomical point of view, the nature of how a person smiles is determined by the contraction of the muscle groups of the lower and middle parts of the face. Attractiveness will depend on the ratio of 3 elements at once during this: gums, teeth, and mouth. When the proportions are violated, an aesthetic defect appears. Most often it manifests itself in childhood, but it can also occur at a more mature age. Consider other factors:

Why is the upper gum visible when smiling:

  • Shortened lip. This is observed when its base is fixed very high. As a result, she is unable to cover the soft tissues.
  • Hyperactivity of mimic muscles. Excessively shifted upwards even with standard facial and dentoalveolar parameters.
  • Dento-alveolar extrusion. This is a nuance in which the front teeth are greatly elongated due to excessive eruption and, as a result, they are displaced downward.
  • The presence of gaps between large interdental spaces.
  • Dental anomalies. Dolichocephalic growth is often the cause of a gingival smile. This is a situation in which the jaw and joint are actively growing in a vertical direction. This happens under the influence of both genetic and external factors. Also, a disturbed ratio of incisors can provoke exposure.
  • Fibromatosis. This is an abnormal increase in tissue that stops its natural movement toward the apex of the tooth root. It can also be triggered by diabetes mellitus and some blood diseases.
  • Bruxism, pathological abrasion of enamel, carious lesions, injuries, incomplete eruption. Because of these problems, the height of the crowns decreases, and the teeth are exposed.

Each of these reasons can provoke exposure. Often it occurs when two or more factors act at once.

Gingival smile classification

It is customary to distinguish the following types of anatomical features:

  • Frontal. Exposure occurs 2-3 cm between the fangs. This is due to the hyperfunction of the muscles, due to which not only the lip rises but also the nasal wings.
  • Lateral. The outcrop is observed exclusively in the lateral zones. The large and small zygomatic muscles take part in the process.
  • Mixed. Exposure occurs throughout the entire alveolar process. That is, between and behind the fangs.
  • Asymmetrical. Strong exposure is observed only on one side. The problem manifests itself with the participation of unilateral hyper contraction of nerve endings. It can also be seen when the lip lifter is active.

Any of the listed types can be corrected in the dental clinic “Dentika”.


A specific cosmetic defect leads to psychological problems in the patient. A person feels unattractive, feels embarrassed, he has complexes. In addition, this feature may indicate hyperfunction of facial muscles and morphofunctional disorders.

When open gums when smiling are accompanied by strong growth of the upper jaw, the lower facial zone increases in size. People complain about the inability to close their lips at rest.

In 75% of people who have this nuance, the crowns of the incisors can tilt inward, which causes physical discomfort. Also, with hyperplasia, the mucous membrane often swells, and blood appears when brushing your teeth.

gingival smile correction

How to Strengthen Gums With Natural Remedies

What are the possible complications?

As stated earlier, the appearance of gum tissue when a person smiles is not a disease. It does not lead to inflammatory processes and pathologies in any way, does not violate the chewing function, and does not impair diction.

Correction is needed only to eliminate aesthetic discomfort. Studies have shown that in 25% of cases it leads to a decrease in self-esteem and negative psychological changes.

However, it should be borne in mind that this physiological feature may accompany dentofacial anomalies. They just can lead to various complications:

  • Deterioration of chewing function;
  • Violations in the digestive tract;
  • Pathology of the temporomandibular joint.

In addition, if the condition is provoked by hyperplasia, then with no diagnostic measures and without the appointment of an effective treatment regimen, a gingival smile can provoke the development of periodontitis with loss of teeth.


Specialists of the dental clinic “Dentika” can determine the defect by asking the patient to smile. But since it can be triggered by anomalies, more detailed diagnostic measures are required:

  • History taking, visual examination. The appearance of a person is evaluated when he smiles. The doctor also looks at his psychological state. She asks him questions to understand if he has complexes about this feature.
  • Photographing. The picture is taken in a straight position and sideways, smiling and not smiling patiently. At certain moments, they can take pictures of teeth with a special intraoral mirror. This is necessary to conduct a presentation, and evaluate the effectiveness of the work done. For example, take a before and after photo of a gingival/gingival smile from braces, surgery, or another method.
  • Taking impressions. This is an ultra-precise cast of the dentition and mucous membrane, which is usually obtained using special materials. It is required to create plaster models of the jaw when planning an orthodontic treatment regimen, as well as before performing orthognathic operations.
  • Other surveys. If an orthodontist or a surgeon deals with this issue, orthopantomography, CT, and teleradiography are prescribed. According to the pictures taken, the condition of the teeth, tissues, sinuses, and temporomandibular joints is assessed. Based on this, during surgical and orthodontic treatment, angles, sizes, and so on are calculated.

Only after the diagnosis has been made, the dentists of the Dent clinic decide how to correct and remove the gingival smile, to make it more attractive. Select the most effective methods.

Defect repair options

Various methods are used to correct aesthetic disorders: surgical, orthodontic, orthopedic, plastic, and cosmetic. Only a doctor can determine which option is best to use. He makes his decision based on data obtained during diagnostic measures.

Surgical intervention

Treatment is performed by a dental surgeon. There are several effective ways to help eliminate a gum smile.

Reconstructive maxillofacial surgery

If the defect manifested itself due to deformation of the facial skeleton, the specialists of the dental clinic “Dentika” can prescribe an osteotomy and osteotomy.

In the first type of surgical intervention, the teeth are moved to a higher position. This position will be correct, the appearance will immediately change. The second type of operation allows you to put the lower jaw in the way it should be with the correct anatomy.

Such surgical interventions are used mainly for severe bite anomalies. But sometimes they are also prescribed with an anatomically correct structure to eliminate cosmetic defects. For example, when a decision is made on how to remove the visibility of the gums when smiling.


This procedure is called frenuloplasty. It will help lengthen the upper part of the mouth and reduce its mobility. This is one of the simplest dental surgeries.

If there are no contraindications, manipulations are carried out with a laser beam. A special suture material is used, which later dissolves on its own. That is, you do not have to come and remove the stitches.

gingival smile

Suturing the orbicular muscle of the mouth

If the aesthetic defect is associated with muscle hyperactivity, it is sutured. It happens like this:

  • Anesthesia is administered.
  • When it works, an incision is made under the lip.
  • The circular muscle is sutured.
  • The mucous membrane is sutured.

This method of how to get rid of a gum smile is quite traumatic, but when the gums are very visible, it shows great effectiveness. Allows you to relax the muscles.


If the physiological feature is due to hyperplasia, the correction is quick and painless – with the help of laser exposure. The specialist will remove excess tissue, and give the correct shape and lines to the contours of the oral cavity.

The procedure is considered safe. Virtually no contraindications and adverse reactions. It lasts an average of 30 minutes. Within a few days, there is swelling, which goes away on its own.

Orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic correction of the gingival smile is prescribed in cases where its appearance is due to malocclusion. Some violations of this nature provoke a strong protrusion of the upper dentition. The orthodontist can help fix this.

Installation of a bracket system

Such designs return the teeth to the correct position and change their inclination. It should be borne in mind that their wearing continues for a long time. This can take 12 to 24 months. Only a specialist can determine how long it will take. But after correcting a gum smile with braces, you will be able to forget about your complexes forever.

Cosmetic procedures

This is an effective, fast, and affordable way to get rid of an aesthetic defect. It is used both separately and in tandem with other techniques.

Lip augmentation

This is a non-standard, but quite effective way to eliminate the physiological features. During it, injections of hyaluronic acid are used. The substance is injected into the upper part of the mouth, due to which it visually increases in size, and becomes less mobile.

Hyaluronic acid dissolves slowly, but eventually, it disappears completely. The effect of it remains for 8 months. After the expiration of the specified period, the procedure will have to be repeated.

Botox correction

This substance is used not only to get rid of wrinkles. It relaxes the muscles well and eliminates hyperactive lip syndrome. Thanks to this method, the normal contractility of facial muscles are restored. The visibility of soft tissues decreases when a person smiles.

However, it should be borne in mind that this method gives a short-term effect. The procedure will need to be carried out approximately 1 time in 3-4 months.

gingival smile design

Orthopaedic intervention

Usually, specialists of the dental clinic “Dentika” resort to this method to visually lengthen the teeth in case of pathological abrasion. It involves the installation of veneers or crowns. The first option is used when it is necessary to build up dental units no more than 1-2 mm. If more is required, the choice is given to the second orthopaedic design.

Forecast and Prevention

There is nothing wrong with this physiological feature. By itself, it does not pose any threat to health. However, it can be triggered by various anatomical defects and anomalies, so the patient is recommended to undergo a diagnosis even if everything suits him in his appearance.

If, when smiling, the gums are very visible and you are embarrassed about this, you experience significant discomfort, contact the specialists of the Dentika dental clinic, who, after the examination, will decide how best to remove this visual defect.

Preventive measures include constant consultation and examination by the orthodontist in childhood. This will prevent dental anomalies. Women in position should eliminate all possible causes that can become factors in the occurrence of this problem in the fetus during fetal development.

Please note that it is important to visit the dentist regularly and in adulthood (at least 2 times a year). This will help maintain the oral cavity in a healthy state, detect pathological changes on time, and begin effective therapy.

Also, special gymnastics for the lips will not hurt. Exercises can be performed independently anywhere. They perfectly relax the facial muscles, improve diction and facial expressions, and prevent the appearance of aesthetic disturbances.

Summing up

We told why the upper gum is visible in a child and an adult when smiling, what to do about it, and how to correct the defect. There are no problems with its removal. Modern dentistry owns technologies that allow you to quickly and painlessly perform the correction.

Please note that it is extremely important to take a responsible approach to choose a clinic. For diagnostics and treatment, contact the dental center “Dentika”. Experienced professionals will help you get rid of the complex forever!