Gum tissue visible in the smile line should have balanced, even contours that are in harmony with the upper lip. If this is not the case and excess gingival (gum) tissue is displayed when people smile it is termed a ‘Gummy Smile’.
Many people with a gummy smile or excessive gingival display feel their smile to be unattractive, oftentimes feeling reluctant to smile at all.
The optimal smile line appearance should reveal the least amount of gum tissue possible.
Causes of a Gummy smile include:
- The abnormal eruption of the teeth: An excessive display of gum tissue in the upper jaw can result from the abnormal eruption of teeth. Teeth covered by excessive gum tissue appear short, even though they may actually be the proper length.
- Shape and Height of teeth: If you have true short teeth, then the gum to tooth ratio is not normal. Crown Lengthening by a dentist may fix this.
- Hyperactive Muscles: The muscle that controls the movement of your upper lip could be hyperactive, causing your upper lip to rise up higher than normal. When this occurs, more of your gum tissue is exposed when you smile. If you have a gummy smile it is often due to having an overactive superior lip muscle - ‘levator labii superioris alaeque nasi’ or LLSAN for short. Because it attaches to the lip and the cheekbone it is the muscle that contracts when we ask a patient to ‘snarl’. The course of the LLSAN is alongside the nose and it is responsible for lifting and everting the upper lip.
This is where we can help!
By injecting a small amount of Anti-Wrinkle injections into the LLSAN we can relax this muscle a little and therefore hide more of the gums whilst you smile, helping to optimise your smile.
Who can't have this procedure?
Those patients where the middle of the lip is lower than the bottom of the outer lip when they smile cannot have gummy smile treatment. When we treat a gummy smile we relax the LLSAN muscle, which is responsible for lifting the middle part of the lip on smiling. If the middle of your lip is lower than the outer part of the lip before we treat then it will drop further after treatment and cause a Joker smile.
Standard Botox contraindications (eg pregnancy, breastfeeding, neuromuscular disease, anticoagulant therapy, infection at injection site).
How much does it cost?
At Complete Skin we charge a flat fee for our Gummy Smile treatments. Please see our price list for more details
How long does it take?
Consult and treatment can be done within a lunch break (30 minutes) in most cases.
Full effect will be seen within about a week.
Effects will last 3-4 months
Are there any complications? (Rare but possible)
Upper Lip ptosis (Drooping).
Difficulty with speaking (this procedure will change the dynamics of the mouth a little, but not permanently) – much like losing a tooth as a child changed your speech a little.