A “gummy” smile is when one smiles, the lip rests high on the gums. Usually we expect to see only the pink-ish (gingiva) little “triangles” between the teeth to show in a smile. While every genuine and authentic smile can be endearing, we strive to help our patients have the smile they self-diagnose is the most appealing. A typical or “ideal” smile exposes generally no more than 2 millimeters of upper gum tissues, whereas a “gummy” smile may show 3 millimeters or more of upper gum tissues. People with a “gummy” smile may feel their teeth are smaller than normal, may be reluctant to smile, or even self-conscious about their smile. However, a “gummy” smile can be improved through Botox treatment.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
Here are some common causes of a gummy smile
- Long or enlarged gum tissue, known as gingival hypertrophy, can result in a gummy smile. (Gingival overgrown or having excessive gingival tissue can be medication induced and sometimes we use surgical intervention as well.)
- Excessive growth of the upper jaw, known as vertical maxillary excess, can expose more gum tissue.(This is a genetic pre-disposition.)
- A short or hyperactive upper lip can create an appearance of gums that is larger than usual.
- The size and shape of the teeth can result in a gummy smile. More gum tissue will be exposed if teeth appear to be small or hidden.
How Does BOTOX Work For a Gummy Smile.
A gummy smile can easily and effectively be treated with Botox. The best part of this treatment is that it is not invasive and it is a quick procedure! Botox has botulinum toxin type A, and when injected, it can relax the muscles in the upper lip and limit the rise of the upper lip when smiling, so the gums will remain covered. Two or more units of Botox are injected in the area between the nose and upper lip to reduce the appearance of any “gummy” smile, creating a more appealing and natural smile.
Again, treating a gummy smile with Botox is a minimally invasive procedure. The upper lip that is relaxed with Botox no longer contracts or elevates as much when smiling. The treatment is incredibly effective, and the results usually last 3 months; we have found that when we repeat this procedure, over time, generally we get more time between when treatment is required. One may return to work immediately after treatment, and results are often almost immediate with the full effect occurring by two weeks.
Benefits of Treating a Gummy Smile with Botox (over other care to treat this condition)
Here are some benefits of treating a gummy smile with Botox:
- Botox injections cause little discomfort and less so with repeat care.
- Recovery is immediate as soon as the procedure is finished.
- Botox is cost-effective as compared to surgical and other treatment options.
- Results are natural and quick.
- Injections can be adjusted depending on the results required.