When some people smile, their upper lip elevates high above their upper teeth, exposing too much gum. For those who are embarrassed by a smile that reveals too much gum, Botox could be the answer.
By injecting Botox into the lip elevators it can relax the muscle used to elevate the upper lip, thereby decreasing the amount of gum that is revealed when smiling. It also works for patients whose full lips disappear or get too thin when they smile.
Before Botox injections were introduced as an option to correct a gummy smile, a gingivectomy operation was used to remove some of the extra gum tissue, giving the illusion of less visible gum. In extreme cases, patients would undergo orthognathic surgery ( invasive jaw surgery) to correct this concern.
Lip lowering procedures are also an option. This involves repositioning the upper lip, so that less of the gum line is exposed when smiling. Lip lowering procedures require a significantly shorter recovery period than jaw surgery, and has substantially fewer risks and side effects.
While Botox can treat a gummy smile, there are factors to consider. This treatment is not permanent. Botox is temporary and will require regular touch-ups. Your new smile will last about four months. Side effects can include an asymmetry of your smile or changes in your upper lip muscle dynamics.