A smile is created by the display of the teeth within the framework of the lips. When a person smiles fully the upper lip normally rises to the top of the upper front teeth. When this framework displays the gums above the front teeth, it is perceived as a “gummy smile.”
There are several reasons for a gummy smile. It may be that the full tooth is not displayed due to an incomplete eruption process of the tooth; or it may be a more complex situation, for example, a down growth of skeleton that supports the upper jaw. There are other causes and even combinations of causes.
The first step in improving a gummy smile is a correct diagnosis. A dentist would begin by taking facial measurements and perhaps models and photos to determine the cause as well as the appropriate method(s) of correction. As with causes, the corrections can range from minor procedures to more involved treatments including surgery.
Your dentist would provide you with a comprehensive assessment of the cause as well as an explanation of your treatment options. After discussing the options thoroughly with your dentist, you decide which treatment plan is best for you.