Although most cosmetic dentistry focuses on your teeth, it’s important to take into account your gums as well, which can have a big impact on the appearance of your smile. It’s important to achieve a balanced appearance to your smile, with both gums and teeth doing their part to give you the appearance of a healthy, attractive smile.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your gums, please call (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Chris Hill at City Smiles downtown St. Louis or Clayton office.

How Gums Impact the Appearance of Your Smile

The appearance of your gums can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of your smile. If your gums are overgrown or too large, it can make your teeth look stubby or small. People may think your teeth are badly worn down, which can make you look older. The treatment for overgrown gums is a gingivectomy.

Sometimes your teeth actually are short. In this case, we may lengthen the teeth with porcelain veneers or dental crowns.

If your gums are red, inflamed, or unhealthy, it can make your smile as a whole look unhealthy and unattractive. It can contribute to tooth mobility, which can lead to crooked or gapped teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to receding gums and tooth loss. The treatment for inflamed or unhealthy gums is gum disease treatment.

Gums that are receding in some places and overgrown in others can create an uneven gum line that makes your teeth look crooked, even if they’re straight. Depending on the cause, this may be treated with a gingivectomy or gum graft.


For patients who have excessive gum tissue, teeth can appear stubby. What you may not know is that beneath that overgrown soft tissue, your teeth are just waiting to be revealed! If you have a gummy smile, we may recommend a gum contouring, otherwise known as a gingivectomy.

This simple cosmetic procedure is performed by soft tissue laser. We will talk with you about your options and what to expect during the procedure, and then discuss the outcome you want to achieve. The day of your procedure, we will mark your gum tissue, make sure that you are comfortable with anesthesia or sedation dentistry, and then gently sculpt the excess soft tissue. After a brief recovery, your new smile will look bold, beautiful and better than you thought possible!

Causes of a Gummy Smile

Even though teeth may be the proper length, they can appear small because they are covered by excessive gum tissue. This can result in a stubby look due to the abnormal eruption of the teeth. The muscle that controls movement in your upper lip may be hyperactive, resulting in the lip rising higher up than normal. When this happens more of your gums are exposed when you smile. If you have abnormal upper jaw bone development you can give off the appearance of a gummy smile.

Most dentists and people would agree that the optimal smile should reveal a small amount of gum tissue. Gum tissue that is visible in the esthetic portion of your mouth (the teeth that show when you smile) should have balanced and even contours that are in harmony with the upper lip. This is often the reason that people with a gummy smile choose to get a gingivectomy. Getting an cosmetic gum contouring offers many benefits such as increased comfort and confidence when smiling, eating and speaking, as well as improved periodontal (gum tissue) health.

For more information on the cosmetic gum contouring procedure at City Smiles feel free to give us a call at (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) for an appointment at our downtown St. Louis or Clayton, MO office..