Mother worried about her daughter’s gummy smile

Reader's Query

Sheela asks: My daughter is 17 years old. Whenever she laughs, her gums become prominently visible. This does not look nice and spoils her otherwise good-looking appearance. Please suggest a remedy.

girl's gums are prominently visible when she smiles


The degree of exposure of the teeth and /or gums depends upon the shape of the cheekbones and jaws, the size of the lips and the manner in which one laughs as this takes the lips apart in varying degrees in different persons.

In most persons, the gums are hardly exposed, during routine laughing or smiling, but in those who have short lips or protruding teeth and high-placed cheekbones; the exposure of the upper gums becomes obvious when they have a hearty laugh.

Sometimes, the passage of time or ageing results in improvement. In some, the problem may be due to over-tight skin around the mouth which pulls the lips unduly apart.

Your daughter’s problem is really a cosmetic one. To improve her looks, you may consult a dentist specialized in cosmetic dentistry, who may suggest the right course of action for you. You can also go through this post Correcting a gummy smile, where I have discussed about various corrective treatments like laser, botox, surgery etc  to rectify a smile which exposes the gums.

However, I’d like to mention that you should not worry too much about the looks of your daughter and make her feel self-conscious.  After all, looking good is not everything in life and one’s self-worth should not depend on looks alone, though our society insists that looks are skin-deep. You should encourage your daughter to develop confidence in herself and have a pleasing personality. Encourage her to develop skills which she is good at. Let her laugh heartily, even exposing her gums if need be! Do read the post Girl  worried about ugly smile.

There are so many famous personalities who don’t have a great smile but that never deterred them from laughing out loudly or smiling heartily. And people who adore them hardly bother about their smile. These people are confident of themselves and care two hoots for others’ opinions.

It’s far more important to make your daughter grow comfortable in her own skin and develop respect for herself rather than trying to correct her gummy smile.

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