Gummy Smile and Gum Contouring in Louisville, KY & New Albany, IN

Gum contouring is a simple and common procedure that sculpts or reshapes your gumline. The gum contouring process removes any excess gum tissue around your teeth. Gum contouring is usually an elective procedure. This means that it will not have a medical impact on your health. Instead, it is being performed to improve the visual appearance of the ratio of your teeth and gums while you smile.

Dr. Shearer explaining gum contouring

We are proud to have a well-educated, patient-minded staff

We specialize in the treatment of gum disease, cosmetic gum procedures, implant replacement of single or multiple missing teeth by both conservative and surgical methods. We make every attempt to make you as relaxed and comfortable as possible, as we know that going to the dentist, or dental specialist like a periodontist, may not be easy for you. We are proud to have a well-educated, patient-minded staff that will allow for a great experience for you.

Gummy Smile Information

During your smile, do your upper teeth seem are out of proportional balance with too much gum tissue. Do your upper teeth seem short in comparison to the amount of gum tissue visible during your smile? If the proportions are out of balance, you have a gummy smile, or excessive gingival display.


A gummy smile can have a negative effect on the perception of your smile. A gummy smile can be easily corrected with gum contouring.


An attractive smile is more than just straight, white teeth, but also the balance between your teeth and the gums. A gummy smile reveals more gum than is visually desirable. If you do not like your gummy smile, gum contouring will create a balance between your teeth and gums allowing you to enjoy your invaluable asset, your smile.

Some Causes of a Gummy Smile

There is nothing functionally wrong with a gummy smile. The ratio between your gums and your teeth is a visual issue, and it is an issue only if you perceive it as such. However, it might be the result of your teeth not emerging correctly from your gums, a condition called delayed passive eruption. It can also happen when your upper lip pulls back farther than it normally should during your smile.


A gummy smile can also be from your teeth being proportionally small or having become worn down. PerioImplant Associates can correct your gummy smile with gum contouring that will improve your gum-line.

Contact Our Practice Today

Our goal is to get you back to smiling and chewing with confidence. With our qualified staff and compassionate team, we will listen to your questions and desires to find the best solution for your dental health.


PerioImplant Associates has over 40 years of high quality Periodontal and Implant therapy in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area

Quality patient care is the keystone of PerioImplant Associates. We strive for the highest quality in patient care with the most up-to-date techniques and technology. The team at PerioImplant Associates create treatment plans based on your specific needs to help treat and cure your disease, which will help lead to a better quality of life.

The Gum Contouring Procedure

If you think you may have a gummy smile, visit us at PerioImplant Associates for an evaluation to confirm your suspicions and review your treatment options. Research has determined that a smile is considered attractive when two millimeters or less of gum tissue is visible. When there is three millimeters or more of gum tissue revealed, the smile is then considered to be a gummy smile. We will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to objectively measure the amount of gingival display and any probable causes. This exam might include standard or digital impressions of your teeth and gums. We could also take X-rays so we can examine your tooth roots and jawbone.


Gum contouring is performed directly in our office. Our team will use either a surgical scalpel or a dental laser to perform your gum contouring procedure based on your specific case.


Before your treatment begins, we will explain what we will be doing during the procedure. We might use a pen, draw a line, and show you your new gum line. From this demonstration you will see exactly how much gum will be removed or how your gum line will be reshaped with the gum contouring procedure.


We then start by first administering a local anesthetic to sufficiently numb the immediate area. Sometimes, the bone at the front of the tooth's root will need to be removed during the gum contouring to provide the best long-term results. During your procedure, PerioImplant Associates will use either a soft tissue laser or scalpel to remove the excess gum tissue and to recontour your gumline to expose more of the teeth. Sutures might be used to hold the gum tissue in place. The length of your procedure will vary based on the amount of gum contouring needed. Gum contouring usually takes an hour or two.


The American Academy of Periodontology publishes that the benefits of your gum contouring treatment will include increased comfort, a noticeable improvement in your self-esteem and self-confidence when smiling, eating, speaking, and improved overall periodontal health.

Our Specialists Tell Our Story Best

Ramsey Burton, DMD

Dr. Ramsey Burton is originally from Nashville, TN. He received both his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Louisville. Following dental school, he completed periodontal specialty training at the University of Kentucky.

Courtney Shearer, DMD, MS

Dr. Courtney Shearer was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She attended Washington and Lee University for her undergraduate degree. She then attended the University of Louisville School of Dentistry where she received her Doctorate in Dentistry.

Jodie Lusby, DMD, MSD

Dr. Jodie Lusby is a Board Certified Periodontist and grew up in Florence, KY. He attended the University of Kentucky where he received his biology degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then attended theĀ  Louisville School of Dentistry.

Is It an Aesthetic Problem Only?

The aesthetic zone, or smile line, which is the amount of teeth that show when you smile, is determined by several contributing factors:


  • Your gum tissues that are revealed.
  • The shape and size of your lips.
  • The size and shape of your teeth.
  • Your facial muscles.

The ideal smile line appearance will show some gum tissue. Your gum tissue visible when you smile line should have a nice, balanced, even contour line that is harmonious and runs parallel with your upper lip.


More serious underlying dental health causes could still be present. If your gummy smile is the result of how your teeth erupted and how your jaw developed, you probably have an uncomfortable or improper bite alignment that will affect your long-term oral health.

Gum Contouring Treatment Costs

The cost of your gummy smile and gum contouring treatment will depend on your specific individual needs and your proposed treatment plan. We will discuss with you the expected cost of your treatment, insurance plan coverage, and any available payment options before we begin, so that you can make the best choice for your treatment.

We will treat you with the gratitude and respect you deserve.

Our business team will help you navigate and file your insurance claims to help you maximize your benefits. We will track and follow-up on delayed claims, as well as provide dental X-rays and written diagnostic reports should your insurance company have questions about our services provided.

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A Warm and Caring Welcome to Our Practice

The entire team at PerioImplant Associates has one predominant objective, and that is to serve you. It can be common for you to feel apprehensive or a bit anxious about visiting a general dentist, or even a dental specialist such as a periodontist. Understanding and expecting that, we always take our time in explaining the benefits of the procedure that is being proposed for your dental health. Both offices, Louisville, KY, and New Albany, IN, are completely trained to address all issues and concerns. We will share the aspects and benefits of your periodontal treatment, introduce our staff, and explain any general office policies. Call us today about an evaluation for a gummy smile and gum contouring treatment for you. Each of us will greet you with a smile and send you home with a restored healthy smile of your own that you will be eager to share.