Too Much Pink And Not Enough Pearl? Cosmetic Injections And Your Gummy Smile

Dentist Blog

How can cosmetic injections help to change a gummy smile? Also known as excessive gingival display (or EGD), a gummy smile can interfere with your bright, white smile. If your gums overpower your teeth and leave you with a pink, and not pearly, smile, take a look at what you need to know about this common dental condition and how to treat EGD with injectables.

What Is A Gummy Smile?

It's all in the name. As the name implies, a gummy smile (or excessive gingival display) is an excessive amount of gum tissue that is visible when you smile. This can make your teeth appear short and interfere with the aesthetics of your smile. 

What Causes A Gummy Smile?

Excessive gingival display has a few possible causes. These include abnormal tooth eruption, a hyperactive upper lip muscle, or vertical maxillary excess (more commonly known as an overgrowth of the upper jaw). Abnormal tooth eruption can leave more of the enamel (the white part of the tooth) under the gum. This results in shorter teeth and a larger area of gum tissue. Even though this is a common cause of EGD, teeth aren't always the culprit behind a gummy smile. A short upper lip or an upper lip that lifts too high when you smile can cause EGD. 

Can You Treat A Gummy Smile?

Yes, you can correct a gummy smile. If you aren't happy with your smile and want to show more teeth than gums, you have treatment options. A cosmetic dentist can evaluate the issue and help you to understand the root cause of your excessive gingival display. After a diagnosis, the dental professional can review the types of treatments that may work best for your individual needs.

Surgical lip repositioning is one way to reduce the amount of gum that shows when you smile. Even though this procedure is an effective option, some patients prefer a non- or minimally-invasive option over surgery. Cosmetic injectables can relax the muscles of the upper lip. This can limit the amount of movement or rise (of the lip) when you smile. The result is a lower lip and a less noticeable gumline. 

According to a 2021 research study published in the Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research, the injectable botulinum toxin type A can reduce the appearance of a gummy smile in patients with less than five millimeters of vertical excess (the gum above the teeth). While the effects are noticeable, they may only last for three months. After this time period, patients will need a repeat injection to see continued results. 

Contact your dentist to learn more about cosmetic injections


28 March 2022