Gummy Smile

Smile with confidence.

Female white toothy smile

Gummy smile is the term used when someone smiles and the gums above the upper teeth become visible.

A gummy smile is due to various things; from problems with the teeth, your bone structure, your gums, a short upper lip and overactivity of the muscles that create your smile.

If the upper lip elevator muscles, that lift the upper lip are overactive/hyperactive, they reveal too much gum tissue on smiling.  This is one of the most common causes of a gummy smile.


Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem, so gingivectomy or oral surgery may be necessary in some cases.


However, if the problem is due to hyperactivity of the upper lip elevator muscles, a gummy smile can be simply and effectively treated with Botulinum Toxin to reduce this.

Dr Chiké Emeagi has been treating these overactive muscles with Botulinum Toxin since 2012, so has years of experience.


It is a safe and effective procedure, so if you feel self-conscious about your gums when you smile, he may be able to help.


At your first treatment session, Dr Chiké Emeagi injects a small amount of Botulinum Toxin both sides of the nostril to weaken the upper lip elevator muscles.


The effect can normally start to show after a few days however the full result takes up to 2 weeks.

If it is your first treatment he will then assess you in a review appointment after 2-3 weeks.


Dr Chiké Emeagi will take photos to asses the success of the treatment and make further adjustments if necessary.


Some people respond to a small amount of treatment, however, others may need higher doses to achieve a similar result. Each person’s treatment is different and some people may need two or even three adjustments to achieve optimum results.


Once the desired results are achieved Dr Chiké Emeagi creates a personal treatment plan for you, so he can replicate the results, the next time you need treatment.

You will be advised to keep the target muscles active for a few hours immediately after treatment.


Around 14% of people suffer from a gummy smile, although there is no official definition of how much gum should be visible when you smile. It has been said that for a perfect smile, the lip should sit just above the top of the teeth.


Some research has been performed which concluded that if two millimetres or less of gum tissue is showing, then a smile looks normal. However, if four or more millimetres of gum is visible the smile appears more gummy.


What really matters is whether you feel self-conscious about your gums when you smile.

Before & After Results

“Dr Chike was friendly & gentle and I had nice experience. I was happy with the result and the treatment wasn’t painful at all compared to other places!.”

- JinJolly78

“Dr Chike is extremely gentle, skilled and knowledgeable. He listened to my concerns and created a bespoke look on my face. I didn't get a single bruise - a bonus! Thank you so much, looking forward to seeing you again!"

- Justyna

“Dr Chike is very professional and puts you at ease. His technique is painless and results are great!”

- Xavier

“Can not praise Dr Chiké enough, he has been doing my Anti-wrinkle treatments  for years and I have alway been so happy with the results! I will never go to anyone else! Absolute genius at what he does”

- Chloe



Find the answers to your questions about gummy smile treatments with Hampstead Aesthetics.

If you would like to find out more, simply contact us for further information.

How long do the results last?

Botulinum Toxin in this area can last anything from 8 weeks to 6 months, depending on the individual’s response. If you have the treatment a few times it often lasts longer as the size and strength of the treated overactive muscles starts to reduce. Also, you can get out of the habit of overusing these muscles so they stop being as hyperactive. Most people have a repeat treatment every 3-6 months.

Are there any risks to this treatment?

Sometimes the effect may take better on one side than the other leading to slight asymmetry. A touch-up treatment at the 2-3 week check up can correct this. All Botulinum Toxin treatments may cause a weakening effect of other small facial muscles close to the area treated. This can lead to temporary asymmetry. In most cases, this can be corrected at the check-up appointment. In rare cases, one will have to wait until the Botulinum Toxin has worn off.

Is Botulinum Toxin or Dermal Filler better for a gummy smile?

We find that fillers are usually a more suitable way to provide patients with fuller, more beautiful lips. Fillers are more versatile and more flexible than Botulinum toxin—and using lip fillers does not equate to overblown results

How long does gummy smile take to Botulinum Toxin work?

The results are not immediate. Upon injecting Botulinum Toxin we should wait for 2 or 3 days to see an improvement. The elevation of the upper lip will gradually decrease, and the full result will be visible within 14 days post-treatment.

Do lip fillers hide gummy smiles?

Another way to fix a gummy smile is by using dermal fillers or lip fillers. By injecting your lips with a dermal filler, we can plump up your upper lips and reduce the amount of gum shown.

Is a lip flip the same as gummy smile?

A lip flip is a quick, in-office procedure that uses Botulinum Toxin to enhance the upper lip and correct a gummy smile. With just a few strategically placed injections in the orbicularis oris muscle, Botulinum Toxin can cause the upper lip to relax and roll very slightly upward.