Santa Barbara


Studio City



The saying goes, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile,” but you may not feel confident showing yours off if you have a gummy smile. While a gummy smile isn’t the end of the world, it can leave people feeling more self-conscious about the way their teeth look. But worry not! There are non-surgical procedures that can remedy a gummy smile that won’t require weeks of recovery time. 

A gummy smile is defined as having more than 2mm of your gum line showing when you smile. It is generally considered more attractive to have less gum showing, but it can be difficult to hide unless you were to just quit smiling altogether. People without a gummy smile tend to have smiles that showcase their bottom teeth more than the top teeth. 

Factors that cause an overly gummy smile can include a hyperactive upper lip muscle, excessive gum tissue, a short upper lip, and/or small teeth. Though some only believe this to be a small issue in their appearance, many people become much more self-conscious about showing off their amazing smiles. 

There are two ways to fix a gummy smile: botox and dermal lip fillers, but the right solution for you will depend on what’s causing your smile to look this way, and which procedure your esthetician thinks is right for you. Both of these procedures are non-invasive injections that can usually be done in one session. “Non-invasive” and “non-surgical” are considered the golden words of medical procedures, as they require almost no recovery time, entail less risk and can be easily customized to the patient’s needs and desired results. 


Botox is a very popular cosmetic injection that uses botulinum toxin to block certain chemical signals from the nerves that cause muscles to contract. It is most commonly used in the forehead and around the mouth to battle wrinkles, but Botox has many other unique uses, such as treating migraines. 

When tending to a gummy smile, the Botox is injected into the muscle right above the smile. This should relax the muscle enough to control the excess lift of the lip, but not dull your dazzling smile. This method is best if you have an overly active upper lip. 

This procedure lasts about three to six months but is a very simple process that can be done in less time than you would have for a lunch break. It requires little to no aftercare and results are almost immediate.

Juvéderm Volbella

The process of lip fillers is very similar to Botox, but its use case is different. The dermal lip filler used is injected into the lips to create a fuller, more plump appearance. Juvéderm Volbella is a smooth hyaluronic acid gel. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the body and can help increase the volume of your lips. 

This procedure is best for people with a naturally smaller upper lip. By adding a dermal filler, the upper lip will enlarge and cover the excess gum that is visible. 

Just like Botox, the effects of Volbella are temporary lasting about six to 12 months. There is no aftercare and the normal reaction is some redness and swelling, but the results are instant.

Depending on the cause for your gummy smile the procedure used to solve the problem may vary, but both are very effective solutions. Your esthetician will be able to help decide which approach or combination of procedures is best for you. 

Dr. Daniel G. Kolder

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a highly trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Kolder’s specialties include:
Tummy Tucks + Liposuction + Breast Augmentation + Breast Lifts + Breast Reduction + Facelifts + Armlifts + Upper & Lower Blepharoplasty, as well as a variety of non-surgical aesthetic procedures. Dr. Kolder is also known to have a warm, easy manner, compassionate care, with surgical results that are beautiful and natural.

See Below Dr. Kolder’s Procedure Videos.

Patient Testimonial

“I was so pleased I chose to go to Dr Kolder! Not only do I love his staff, they are so helpful, efficient and just plain fun to talk to, Dr. Kolder makes you feel at ease with his knowledge and disposition. My surgery results were amazing and my recovery was made easy knowing I could call any time and get immediate attention and information. I highly recommend Dr. Kolder and his entire staff…”