A gummy smile, with a large expanse of the gum structure revealed when you smile, is typically inherited and could be a feature you have dreamt of changing. Gummy smile reduction is a minor surgical procedure that creates a natural smile, with less of your gums revealed. BOTOX injections or lip enhancements with fillers can be an effective non-surgical method for gummy smile reduction.
What is gummy smile reduction?
A surgical procedure to treat a gummy smile may involve lip lowering, in which the upper lip is surgically repositioned. BOTOX injections can relax specific muscles so the upper lip cannot rise as high when smiling. Excess gum tissue may be removed from around the teeth to expose more tooth and less gum, or the gum line recontoured.
What does gummy smile reduction treat?
Gummy smile reduction is a treatment to resolve issues related to too much of the gum being revealed when you smile or laugh.
Candidates for gummy smile reduction
Candidates for the treatment are those who feel their appearance is less attractive due to a gummy smile. Depending on the procedure, you should be in good general health and not have any medical conditions that could impact the safety or outcome of your treatment, such as being allergic to anesthesia, neuromodulators, or bleeding disorders.
How is the procedure performed?
A common surgical method to treat a gummy smile is to reposition the upper lip. The gums are reshaped, with soft tissue removed in specific areas. The muscles that elevate the upper lip may be altered, so they are unable to raise the upper lip as high. In some cases, BOTOX is injected into the elevator muscles to prevent excessive contraction leading to a gummy smile.
Incision: Laser incisions under upper lip or gums if gum contouring is performed
Recovery after a gummy smile reduction procedure
If you had BOTOX injections, you have virtually no recovery time, although the BOTOX takes several days before you will see results. If you had a surgical repositioning of your upper lip, the recovery involves eating soft food for a week to ten days while the area heals. Any swelling or discomfort can be managed with pain medication and cool compresses.
Gummy smile reduction at-a-glance
Procedure time: From minutes (injections) to an hour (surgical)
Typical recovery time: A week to ten days
Added procedures: You may choose to undergo another procedure in the same appointment, whether a facial, peel, skin resurfacing or other treatment.
Is it worth undergoing surgery to correct a gummy smile?
If you are bothered by how your smile appears, this surgery can help you feel more confident – and smile more!
What causes a gummy smile?
A “gummy smile” can be the result of the size and shape of your lips, how your facial muscles work, the size of your teeth, and the extent of the gum tissue you have.
What is lip lowering?
Lip lowering, or lip repositioning is a surgical procedure that resolves a gummy smile by restricting how high the muscles (elevator lip muscles) can pull the upper lip, so less of the gum structure is revealed.