Gummy Smile (Laser Gum Contouring / Botox)

Dr. Kelvin Chua

By Dr. Kelvin Chua & team

Clinical Director, Gentle Smile Dental Studio

The ideal amount of gum that you should show while smiling is about three millimetres.

If you show more than that, your gums can overpower your smile. Scientifically, this is known as “excessive gingival exposure”.

The perfect scenario would be having your lips conceal a large part of your gums, letting your teeth be the focal point of your smile.

Gentle Smile Dental Studio can help you achieve an ideal smile using various methods.

gummy smile 3mm gums infographic

How We Turn Gummy Smiles Into Gentle Smiles

You may have a gummy smile if you have small teeth, overly thick gums, short or hypermobile lips, or a protruding upper jaw bone. There are four main ways that we remedy your gummy smile:

  • Laser gum contouring
  • Lip repositioning
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox)
  • Jaw surgery
smiling with teeth and gums for gummy smile

Laser Gum Shaping Or Recontouring

This minimally invasive procedure uses a laser to move back your gum line, and is done under local anesthetic.

The amount of tissue removed varies according to the shape of your gum and mouth.

Botox

At our Gentle Smile Dental Studio, we offer a new treatment that involves injecting Botox into those muscles.

The results are impressive as most patients see a significant reduction in their gummy smile.

When injected into the muscles between your upper lip and nose, prevents your lips from elevating when you smile, thus concealing the gum line.

There is little pain and risk, and minimal downtime.

Lip Repositioning Surgery

This procedure fixes a gummy smile if the cause is a hypermobile upper lip, which is a lip that rises too high when you grin, leading to an excessive exposure of the gum. In lip repositioning surgery, doctors remove tissue from the upper lip so that it can rest lower to cover the gum.

Jaw Surgery

If you exhibit a pronounced gummy smile, dentists might propose this surgical solution. They’ll assess the extent of gum exposure, the resting lip position, and potential alternative treatments. 

The surgery involves repositioning the upper jaw to minimise gum visibility, creating a balanced appearance between the upper and lower teeth.

Additionally, a correctly aligned jaw ensures an optimal bite, reducing tooth wear over time.

Why Do I Have A Gummy Smile?

For Singaporeans, the main reasons why you have a gummy smile include:

Short Teeth

Adult teeth emerge partially from the gums, with a portion remaining hidden. 

If they don’t emerge sufficiently, they appear “under-erupted,” making the smile seem gummy due to the proportion of visible gums. 

Over time, factors like stress may lead to nocturnal bruxism, especially in high-stress societies like Singapore. 

Nightly teeth grinding gradually shortens the teeth, amplifying the gummy appearance. This change is subtle, often noticeable only over several years.

Jaw-related Gummy Smile

The jaw naturally seeks to avoid gaps between the upper and lower teeth. If teeth erode, both the jawbone and gum adjust downwards to compensate. 

In Singapore, diets rich in acidity, with foods and drinks like bubble tea, ice kacang, and pineapple tarts, contribute to tooth erosion. 

Teeth grinding also creates minor gaps, prompting jaw adjustments. 

Additionally, some may experience excessive upper jaw growth, leading to a more pronounced gummy appearance.

Hypermobile Or Short Upper Lip

The upper lip is crucial in determining the appearance of one’s smile as they hide your gums. If you have a thicker upper, then you will be able to hide more of your gums. On the other hand, if your lips are thinner, then you might expose more gums.

Apart from lip thickness, the degree of lip movement between a resting face and a smile also plays a role. Individuals with highly mobile lips might show more gums, as their lips move significantly when they smile.

Get to Know Your Gummy Smile Dentist

dentist kelvin chua talks about gummy smiles and laser dentistry

Hi, I’m Dr. Kelvin Chua

I am the clinical director for Gentle Smile Dental Studio.

My clinic’s goal is to help you craft a smile that you can feel confident about.

To give you a pleasant and gentle experience, I attend conferences to keep up with the latest methods and technology.

Since 2017, I have lectured regionally in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and South Korea on aesthetics, laser dentistry and digital dentistry.

Get in touch and we’ll discuss how to craft your perfect smile!

dr kelvin chua dentist gentle smile dental studio singapore
gentle smile dental studio dentist dr kelvin chua

Timelines and Prices

Treating gummy smiles requires a customised treatment plan based on your specific situation.

The most common treatments are Botox and laser gum contouring.

TreatmentTimeCost
Botox5-10 mins$350
Laser Gum Contour (per tooth)1 hour$250+

Botox

Botox only takes 5-10 minutes and can be performed on the same day of the consultation.

Cost is $350 with one complimentary top up within a month.

Laser Gum Contouring

Laser gum contouring takes one hour and is priced at $250 per tooth, while extensive cases requiring bone removal cost $450 per tooth.

With laser gum contouring, we will show you the reduction of your gummy smile with our Digital Smile Design preview.

gentle smile dental studio dentists hygienist

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gummy smiles normal?

Gummy smiles are a normal variation in smile aesthetics and will not cause any physical problems. However, a study has shown that showing too much gums resulted in participants lowering the rating of a person.

Can gummy smile be fixed? How?

Yes, gummy smiles can be corrected through non-surgical means like laser gum contouring and Botox. For other cases, we can also use surgical methods.

Can gummy smile be fixed with Invisalign?

As the jaw plays a part in your smile, Invisalign can help reduce a gummy smile. Our dentists can help you determine the best course of treatment.

What causes gummy smile?

Factors include jaw position, lip length, or gum tissue health.

How much does it cost to fix a gummy smile with Botox?

$350 with one complimentary top up within a month.

How much is laser gum contouring to treat gummy smile?

Laser gum contouring starts at $250.

Book An Appointment

Scan the following QR code to WhatsApp us or email us with the link below.

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