Cosmetic Dentistry |4 min read

How To Fix a Gummy Smile (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

Are you unhappy with your smile?

Some people find the reason they’re not 100% happy with their smile doesn’t have to do with how straight their teeth are or how bright it is, but rather the disproportion of their gums to teeth.

When assessing a smile, your dentist looks at everything as a whole, from your teeth to your facial features and to, you guessed it, your gums!

So, how do you fix a smile that has more gums than teeth?

Two words: Gum contouring.

What the heck is gum contouring?!

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • What causes a “gummy” smile
  • How to fix a gummy smile
  • What gum contouring is
  • If gum contouring is permanent
  • How long it takes to heal
  • And more!

Let’s get started.

What causes a gummy smile?

Many things cause a gummy smile, including:

  • Genetics
  • A bad bite
  • Too much gum tissue


Genetics plays a huge role in how your smile looks.

In fact, it’s the leading reason.

Small teeth and/or a short upper lip causes more gum tissues to show when you’re smiling.

A bad bite

Without proper jaw alignment, your upper jaw may protrude out more than it should.

This will cause excessive gum tissue to show, giving you a smile you’re not happy with.

Too much gum tissue

This is the most common reason your smile is gummy – you simply have too much gum tissue.

It can happen around the time your permanent teeth come in, with an overgrowth of gum tissue.

Keep in mind:

Inflammation and swelling caused by an infection creates a gummy appearance too.

You can prevent the latter by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for your scheduled professional cleanings.

Text: What causes a gummy smile? Small teeth, a bad bite, too much gum tissue.

How to fix a gummy smile

Depending on why your smile shows excessive gum tissue, your dentist may recommend different treatments, including:

  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Lip surgery
  • Gum contouring

Orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic care, such as Invisalign®, can correct a bad bite or jaw alignment issue that causes a gummy smile.

It realigns your bite and jaw and may make your gums less noticeable when smiling.

Porcelain veneers

With teeth that look too short, your gums will be more prominent in your smile.

Porcelain veneers make your teeth longer and more proportionate, and you’ll have a more attractive-looking smile all around.

Lip surgery

If you have a short or hyperactive upper lip, lip surgery helps make your smile more even.

It involves repositioning your lip to show less gum tissue.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that changes the shape and proportions of your gums and, therefore, teeth. It removes excess gum tissue and evens out your gum line.

Traditional methods involve cutting away gum tissue with a scalpel, leaving open tissue wounds that are painful and slow to heal.

But don’t worry!

Now, gum contouring can be done with a dental laser. It offers:

  • Quicker healing time
  • Increased comfort
  • Minimal to zero bleeding
  • Lower risk of infection

Ask your dentist if they offer laser gum contouring. If you’re located in Columbia, SC, contact our dental office!

Patient smile before and after gum contouring treatment.


Is gum contouring permanent?

Yes! Gum contouring is permanent.

Your dentist will work with you to remove as much gum tissue as you desire for a beautiful smile.

Once you’re satisfied with how everything looks, it’ll remain that way for a lifetime.

How long does gum contouring take to heal?

Gum contouring procedures typically take one week to heal.


You’ll be able to get back to your day-to-day activities right after your treatment!

Many patients report gum contouring doesn’t hurt. Your teeth and gums may be a little sensitive after the procedure, but it’s temporary.

The following tips should help with your healing process:

Looking for gum contouring in Columbia, SC?

Dr. Justin Griffin is a skilled cosmetic dentist that’s ready to give you the smile you want.

At Wildewood Aesthetic Dentistry, we use the latest technology and offer special amenities to make sure your gum contouring treatment is stress-free.

With our laser technology, you’ll enjoy a brand new smile right away!

Love your smile now.




Our office is conveniently located in Columbia, SC… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…, and we happily welcome patients from the neighboring communities of Irmo, Lexington, Camden, Blythewood, and Elgin, SC. We also serve patients from out of state!