Anyone who shows a significant amount of their upper gums when smiling is considered to have a gummy smile. The main causes are excess gum tissue or lips that pull back too far when smiling. There are various treatments that can correct this and the one chosen will depend on the cause. If you are self-conscious about your smile because you show too much gum, there are several easy fixes that may improve it with minimal downtime and quick recovery.
What are my treatment options?
A lip lowering procedure is often the treatment of choice and it can create excellent results for many patients. It modifies the area where the upper lip and gum tissue join. In some cases, reshaping and leveling of the gum line is necessary. A lip lowering procedure is safe and simple. It basically restricts the pull of the muscles that elevate your upper lip and offers an alternative to invasive jaw surgery.
Can BOTOX correct a “gummy smile”?
The effect of Botox is temporary and maybe a good solution for people who aren’t ready to undergo a lip lowering procedure. Having Botox before having lip lowering surgery relaxes the muscles and can obscure the true extent of the problem, affecting the end result. Where there is a strong pulling effect of the muscles, Botox two to three months after surgery can help by targeting the muscles that pull the upper lip and gradually relaxing or deactivating them.
What about lengthening the teeth or reshaping the gum?
Reshaping, cutting the gum, or lengthening the teeth (crown lengthening) may be an option depending on the specific case. If the teeth are short and there is plenty of gum tissue, crown lengthening will help to a certain extent.
If the teeth are of a normal length and there is no passive eruption of the gum tissue, reshaping and cutting the gum tissue can make the teeth too long or necessitate covering them with crowns or veneers.
Lip lowering procedure
It is important that you have realistic expectations when undergoing a lip-lowering procedure. The goal of treatment is to minimize the excessive display of gum tissue.
After the lip lowering procedure your face and lips will look the same in their normal position. The main benefit is that your lip doesn’t lift as high when you smile. In fact, if you have a thin lip, it will appear more relaxed and fuller after the treatment.
You will experience minimal downtime after the surgery with little discomfort. It is important to follow post-procedure instructions to avoid the risk of complications.
Fix your gummy smile
Dr. Alex A. Farnoosh, an experienced periodontist in Beverley Hills, will help to fix your gummy smile. Call Total Smile at (310) 657-0503 to set up a consultation. Once Dr Farnoosh determines the appropriate treatment plan for you, he will walk you through all the steps so you know what to expect during the procedure and afterward.