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Botox To Correct A Gummy Smile

Written by Chuma Chike-Obi, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on July 6, 2020 2 Comments

botox for gummy smile

What is a gummy smile?

According to Wikipedia, smiling is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, joy, or amusement. During smiling, the upper lip moves upward to allow the upper teeth and a small portion of the upper gums to show. A gummy smile typically occurs when this upward movement is considered excessive, showing too much of the upper gum line. The majority of patients I see for gummy smiles are not seeking invasive surgery or prolonged treatment plans to address their concerns. Rather, they are seeking options that can be delivered quickly with minimal downtime. Fortunately, gummy smiles can be often be improved with Botox and similar products.

gummy smile example

Source: Wikipedia

How can Botox be used to treat a gummy smile?

Once treated with Botox, the ‘pulling’ of the treated lip-elevating muscles on the upper lip is dramatically softened. This reduces the prominence of the gums when you smile.

Before and After Botox For Gummy Smile 

How is the treatment performed?

The injections are placed at (or close to) a triangular area called the Yonsei point, where three muscles involved in smiling intersect.

Is using Botox injections for a gummy smile painful?

There is minimal pain involved during this 10-second procedure. Most people find that it is quick and easy and is well worth the time spent doing it. The results can be dramatic and many people feel more confident and happier with their appearance afterwards.

How long will results last?

The results can vary from person to person. Typical results last for about 3 months.

Video: Gummy Smile Treatments

What are some other treatment options for gummy smile?

Botox injections are not the only treatment option that is available for people who have gummy smile concerns. However, because it is near-painless, quick, and effective, many people believe that it is their best option. Other options include:

Jaw Surgery

Surgical procedures to treat gummy smiles involve sculpting the gums and/or the bones they attach to. This option is significantly more invasive than Botox, but results are permanent. A maxillofacial surgeon would be involved in this type of surgery.

Orthodontics

Braces can sometimes help to treat gummy smiles by realigning the teeth. This option takes longer (months to years) and is generally significantly more expensive than Botox.

Laser Treatments

A diode laser can be used to cut away the excess gum tissue covering the teeth. This is another viable option for people seeking to address gummy smiles.

Summary

Gummy smiles can have one of several underlying causes. The best treatment depends on the underlying cause(s). But it also depends on patient preference. Many patients do not feel that invasive or prolonged treatment plans are warranted in their case. For those who qualify and are interested, serial botulinum treatments are an excellent way to improve a gummy smile appearance.

 


Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.


2 Responses to “Botox To Correct A Gummy Smile”

  1. Lorri says:

    Great post, thanks for including the video and the before and after. I’m still thinking about trying Botox, I have a slight gummy smile. Can you provide me with an idea on how much treatment would cost?

    • WD Staff says:

      Hi Lorri,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! Like any Botox treatment the cost will depend on how much Botox is needed to properly relax the targeted muscle. We actually have a great post on the typical Botox used to treat common facial areas here: https://www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/how-much-botox-do-i-need

      One word of caution, those are just typical estimates the true amount of Botox you may need will depend on your individual needs.

      We hope that helps, please let us know if you have any additional questions!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

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