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Gummy Smile

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What is a ‘Gummy Smile’?

A gummy smile is a subjective term which describes excessive gingival display, which simply means that too much gum is visible above an individual’s top teeth when they smile.


It is estimated that over 25% of people within the UK are unhappy with their smile as a result of the appearance of their teeth and gums.

The average price of a gummy smile correction procedure will depend on the method used and the individual cases. However, you could be looking to pay anywhere between £200.00 for semi-permanent results, and several thousand for more complex yet permanent operations.

Gummy Smile


How Does Gummy Smile Correction Work?

There are a range of procedures which can be used for gummy smile correction:

  • The first is the use of the botulinum toxin. This neurotoxin paralyses certain muscles in the top lip that pull it up, causing the lip to relax down – and thus the appearance of a gummy smile to be reduced. This procedure lasts around 3-6 months and will need to be done regularly to uphold the lasting effect.
  • The second type of correction is a procedure called a gingival lift (or smile lift). This is a simple operation which is carried out under local anaesthetic in which around 1mm of gum is removed from the upper gum line to reveal more of the tooth and correct the ‘tooth to gum’ ratio when an individual smiles. The removal of the excess gum is thought to be permanent to an extent, but it is a possibility that the gum will regrow.

Gummy smiles can also be corrected using more invasive procedures known as gum contouring and crown lengthening, in which excess tissue and/or bone material will be removed to reveal more of the tooth, usually under a local anaesthetic.

Often crown lengthening and gum contouring will occur in combination with the use of veneers (layers of synthetic material placed over a tooth) which allows the newly exposed tooth to appear flawless.

Who Should Conduct Gummy Smile Correction?

The individual who conducts gummy smile correction will depend on the method used as some methods require a more qualified medical professional. For the botulinum toxin treatment, the product is easy to access and administer. However, not everybody who can access the product is trained to administer it.

If you are looking to have this treatment, a qualified medical professional should undertake the procedure to ensure that the correct amount of the neurotoxin is given and is injected into the right locations, as the accidental injection of high doses of the toxin itself can be deadly.

Both the gingival lift procedure, and the gum contouring and crown lengthening procedure should be carried out by a board-certified periodontist, as they specialise in the supporting structures of the teeth, such as the gums. It is also vital that a recognised specialist conducts the procedure to ensure the authenticity of the methods and products used.

Are There Any Side Effects to the Procedures?

As with many cosmetic procedures, there are associated side effects to the various methods used in gummy smile correction. For instance, whilst most people do not experience the adverse risks of the botulinum neurotoxin, some reported side effects include:

  • Migraines.
  • Nausea.
  • Double vision.
  • Tiredness.
  • Pain, bruising and redness of the injected site.
  • Numbness.
  • Paralysis of the local area.
  • Neck weakness.
  • Gallbladder dysfunction.
  • Bleeding.
  • Rashes.
  • Swelling.
  • Botulism.

Gingival lifts, crown lengthening, and gum contouring are more invasive in nature than the simple botulinum treatment, and as such are arguably higher risk. Some of the side effects experienced from these treatments include:

  • Infection.
  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Relapsed gum tissue.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness, and vomiting from local anaesthesia.
  • Bleeding.

The above list is not a complete list of all side effects and others may occur. If you are experiencing any of the above, or any other side effects after receiving a cosmetic dental procedure, you should call your doctor or dentist for medical advice.

If these symptoms persist, it is advised that they are also reported to the practitioner who carried out the procedure.

Gummy Smile



The treatment for side effects resulting from a gummy smile correction procedure will vary hugely depending on the side effect experienced. Contacting a doctor or other qualified medical professional is the best idea to ensure that you receive the correct advice and treatment you may need.

To avoid potential side effects, individuals may be prescribed an antibacterial mouthwash, and/or some sort of anti-inflammatory pain relief medicine to decrease post-procedure discomfort.

Long-term Complications Prognosis

Again, the long-term complications prognosis will depend on the undergone procedure and the side effects experienced.

As with any cosmetic surgery, there is the potential that an individual will not be satisfied with the results in addition to other long-term risks associated with other side effects, such as infections.

Some of the long-term side effects of repetitive botulinum toxin treatments are:

  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Drooping eyelid.
  • Neck weakness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • General or marked weakness.
  • Difficulty chewing.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Heart palpitations.



Can I Make a Claim?

It may be that the results were not what you were expecting nor discussed or agreed in the consultation, or you were not properly advised about the risks of an undesirable outcome.

Cosmetic procedures are supposed to make you feel better, happier and leave you feeling more confident. If you decide to part with your hard-earned money to have any cosmetic treatment undertaken, you must place all of your trust in the clinician or surgeon chosen and assume that they will exercise their duty of care to you and perform the procedure to a high standard. Unfortunately, this does not always take place.

If the clinician or surgeon has been negligent, you could be left with painful, long term or even permanent injuries or disfigurements. In some situations, there could have been additional complications resulting in significant adverse effects on your confidence and appearance.

If you’ve had cosmetic surgery and you believe that the procedure went wrong, we understand that you may be left suffering physical and emotional pain.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd


Why use Oakwood Solicitors to Make Your Cosmetic Surgery Claim?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of Cosmetic Surgery claims.

We want to ensure that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.


If you’ve suffered as the result of botched cosmetic dental surgery, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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