Gummy Smile? Your Chicago Dentist Can Help!

Gummy Smile

This patient came into our office for a second opinion. She had been sent in by her general dentist to do a veneer on her right front tooth before her wedding. She asked us if there was anything that could be done for her excess gum display and if we could close the spaces between her teeth. Unfortunately, the treatment choices that would improve her smile the most could not be completed before her wedding. She was so excited to finally hear that there were good solutions to improving her smile.  She and her new husband were moving to Denver after the wedding and could not afford to come back to Chicago for treatment. She asked us to work with her new dentist in Denver so that she could have a smile that really looked appealing. She eventually did have a gum lift and 4 porcelain veneers done to close the spaces. We never got to see how her finished smile looked but we have other gummy smile cases similar to this one. And a second fixing a gummy smile example


Excessive gingival display or “gummy smiles” are addressed with gum lifts and other treatment options. Current estimates indicate that up to seven percent of men and fourteen percent of women have excessive amounts of gum tissue or smiles that appear “gummy.” Excess gum tissue creates a disproportionate appearance of a patient’s smile by covering more of the tooth than necessary. Gummy smiles often make teeth appear smaller than they should. If you have a gummy smile, your self confidence is likely affected.

Causes of Gummy Smiles

Many factors contribute to gummy smiles. In some cases, jawbone deformities cause the appearance of excessive gingival display. If your upper jawbone developed a protrusion, your gums and teeth would appear disproportionate. A gummy smile may also be caused by abnormal eruption of the teeth. Treating and improving the appearance of gummy smiles largely depends on the cause of excessive gingival display.

Other Factors that Contribute to the Appearance of a Smile

  • Facial muscles
  • Lip shape or size
  • Tooth size or shape

Treatment Options for Gummy Smiles

An attractive smile should display very little gum tissue. For patients with excessive gum tissue or the appearance of a gummy smile, there are many treatment options. Treatment ranges from using soft tissue lasers to remove excess gum tissue to jawbone reconstruction. Patients with excessive gingival display may have malocclusions as well.

If you are embarrassed by the appearance of a gummy smile, consider discussing your concerns with Dr. James Fondriest. After evaluating your smile, Dr. Fondirest will recommend which treatment option is best for your needs. Dr. Fondriest works with a team of specialists and dedicated professionals who can address and correct the causes of excessive gingival display. To schedule an appointment, contact our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve patients from the neighboring Chicago communities.

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