If you thought that straight, pearly white teeth were all the necessary features for a dazzling smile, think again. An increasing number of people have been heading to their cosmetic providers in search of a solution to a gummy smile. This not-so-technical term refers to grins with a large amount of gum tissue showing between the lip and teeth. Just like other bodily imperfections, gummy smiles can make a person feel self-conscious in even their happiest moments. Fortunately, Botox and other injectables make non-surgical gummy smile correction an exciting and effective option.
Gummy smiles can be blamed on a number of factors, including:
Excessive gum tissue: Excessive gum tissue can grow over the teeth, causing them to look shorter than they really are. The gums may also look discolored, or inflamed along the gum line. The gum growth is actually caused by abnormal eruption of the teeth. Braces, expanders, and other orthodontia may help prevent further excessive gum growth. Unfortunately, existing gum tissue caused by crooked teeth won’t often be reversed by straightening the teeth.
Hyperactive lip muscle: Most people’s lips curl up a bit when they smile, but people with gummy smiles complain that their lip curls up too much. If your lip becomes very thin when you smile, exposing gum that is usually hidden, you may have a hyperactive lip muscle. Muscle-relaxing injectables like Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin can disable the lip from raising when a person smiles. An alternative route to addressing hyperactive lip muscles is using to use a volumizing injectable (Juvederm, Restylane) to increase the size of the upper lip. A larger upper lip will cover more gum area while smiling, and many patients find that the fuller look is aesthetically pleasing.
Malformed upper jaw bone: For a host of reasons, some people’s jaw bones don’t develop normally. If the jaw has a protruding bone along the gum line, it can cause an obvious gummy appearance. Surgery is usually the best solution to gummy smiles caused by an irregular jaw bone.
Ultra-popular injectable Botox is best known for fighting stubborn wrinkles, like frown lines and crow’s feet. Since Botox works by temporarily relaxing muscles, it’s proven useful in a number of other instances involving muscular abnormality such as migraine headaches, enlarged prostates, and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). For gummy smiles, Botox is injected into the upper lip. Well-placed injections won’t affect the appearance of a relaxed mouth, which is why it’s important to seek a qualified Botox specialist with experience in gummy smile work. Botox injections for a gummy smile should last for about six months. Other botulinum-based injectables can be used as an alternative to Botox, including Dysport and Xeomin. It’s an increasingly popular procedure, particularly among self-conscious teens who aren’t ready to commit to more gum reduction surgery (gingivectomy) and its associated costs.
Lip augmentation is often used in combination with, or as an alternative to Botox for gummy smiles. Dermal fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are injected into the upper lip, giving it an overall fuller look. It’s important to note that lip augmentation will affect the look of your lips even when you’re not smiling, and won’t keep your existing lip from curling up. But it can cover the excess gingival display that makes gummy smile patients so self-conscious. Many patients enjoy and prefer the look of larger lips, which is why lip augmentation is a natural choice for treating gummy smiles.
At Botox Forum, we’ve taken the time to find the most experienced injectable doctors in the country. These providers use Botox, Restylane, Xeomin, and more to non-surgically combat a range of aesthetic concerns. Use our directory to browse Botox specialists in your area, with experience in performing Botox for gummy smiles. When you book through Botox Forum, we can set you up with a free consultation.