Excessive Gingival Display

Gummy Smile

At Direct Aesthetics, we specialize in offering non-surgical neurotoxin injections, specifically Botox, as a treatment for gummy smiles. This procedure involves injecting Botox into the muscles responsible for elevating the upper lip, which temporarily relaxes these muscles and reduces the amount of gum tissue visible when smiling. By targeting the underlying cause of a gummy smile, Botox injections can effectively improve the overall aesthetic appearance of the smile without the need for invasive surgical procedures.


A gummy smile is a condition characterized by excessive gum exposure when smiling, often causing self-consciousness and dissatisfaction with one’s appearance. This phenomenon occurs due to various factors such as hyperactive upper lip muscles, excessive gum tissue, or an abnormal eruption of the teeth.

What causes a gummy smile?

Many of the root causes of a gummy smile stem from hereditary factors influenced by genetics. In certain cases, multiple factors may converge, contributing to the appearance of a gummy smile.

The underlying issue often involves the gums, jaw, and surrounding tissue and muscles, particularly those of the upper lip.

Excessive gum tissue can lead to coverage of a portion of the teeth, resulting in the perception of smaller teeth. This may occur due to the normal eruption of the teeth and can involve both the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth.

Alternatively, excessive gingival display might result from a short or hyperactive upper lip or the overgrowth of the maxilla, or upper jaw.

These are among the most prevalent causes:

  1. Hypermobile upper lip
  2. Excessive gum tissue growing downward as teeth wear down, known as compensatory eruption
  3. Gums failing to recede adequately to reveal the entire tooth as adult teeth emerge, termed altered passive eruption
  4. A skeletal issue related to the upper jawbone, referred to as vertical maxillary excess

How to fix a gummy smile?

When someone exhibits a gummy smile, an excessive amount of gum tissue becomes visible above their teeth when they smile, typically exceeding two millimeters. To effectively address this, a specialized anti-wrinkle treatment can be highly beneficial.

Botox for gummy smile

A Botox treatment targets the “elevator” muscle in the upper lip, responsible for lifting the lip during a smile. In cases of a gummy smile, this muscle is overly active, causing excessive lifting of the lip and revealing a significant portion of the gum line.

During the procedure, a trained professional administers a toxin directly into this muscle. This substance is designed to relax the muscle, reducing its ability to contract forcefully. Consequently, when the individual smiles after treatment, their upper lip rises less, resulting in a noticeable decrease in gum visibility.

This approach is favored for its simplicity and effectiveness, involving no invasive surgery and offering swift completion. Moreover, results are typically evident shortly after treatment, contributing to a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.

It’s essential to understand that this treatment isn’t permanent. Over time, the effects diminish, and the muscle regains its original strength. Therefore, individuals may need periodic treatments to maintain their desired outcome. Nonetheless, it presents a non-invasive, prompt, and efficient method for managing a gummy smile, making it a popular choice for many.

Lip flip for gummy smile

A lip flip is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that can be effective in addressing a gummy smile. During the procedure, a small amount of botulinum toxin, such as Botox, is strategically injected into the muscles surrounding the upper lip. This toxin works by relaxing the muscles, causing the upper lip to roll slightly upward and cover a portion of the gums when smiling. By inhibiting the excessive elevation of the upper lip, the lip flip can create the illusion of a fuller upper lip while reducing the visibility of gum tissue. The procedure is quick, virtually painless, and typically requires no downtime, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking a subtle yet noticeable improvement in their smile aesthetics.

Lip fillers

In instances of mild gum protrusion, carefully administered dermal fillers can offer a temporary solution by adding volume to the upper lip, thereby minimizing the visibility of gum tissue. However, it’s essential to exercise caution, especially when the lips already possess adequate fullness, as fillers may exacerbate the issue, particularly for those with thin upper lips. Typically, lip fillers maintain their effects for approximately six months.

At Direct Aesthetics, we often employ a combination approach involving both Botox and fillers to achieve optimal outcomes. For individuals with thin upper lips and hypermobile upper lips, a combination treatment of fillers and neurotoxin injections is typically recommended. This approach can also benefit individuals considering orthognathic surgery but prefer a non-invasive option or wish to defer surgery temporarily. With fillers and neurotoxin injections, patients can enjoy a straightforward short-term solution without any downtime.

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