What causes a gummy smile and how can you correct it?
If you thought that Botox is only used to treat foreheads, think again. There is a huge variety of Botox related ‘tweakments’ on offer, from minimising frown lines to softening lines on the neck and even fixing a gummy smile. A gummy smile is a fairly common concern that causes a significant amount of gum tissue to show when you smile. While it’s not a medical problem per se, it can have a negative effect on your self-confidence. Very often, those with gummy smiles try to control and minimise their smile, and some feel so self-conscious that they prefer not to smile at all. This may have a detrimental effect on your professional, social, and personal relationships.
If a gummy smile is bothering you, some solutions can help fix the issue. This is everything you need to know about the causes of a gummy smile and the available treatment options.
What causes a gummy smile?
There are a variety of causes of a gummy smile, from jaw and tooth development issues to prominent teeth. A gummy smile is commonly caused by hyperactive muscles in the upper lip, which causes it to rise higher than usual when you smile. Usually, the condition behind a gummy smile is genetic, so it’s not possible to prevent it.
How does Botox work to correct it?
Botulinum toxin injections can simply and effectively correct a gummy smile to reduce the muscle activity that elevates the upper lip. Botox works by temporarily paralysing the hyperactive muscles so that they will not raise your upper lip dramatically when you smile. It is strategically injected just above the smile, at the intersection of three muscles called the Yonsei Point and works by temporarily weakening the elevator muscles that cause the upper lip to excessively lift, reducing its elevation and ultimately reducing the inhibiting gummy smile.
How long does the result last?
Generally, you can expect to see an improvement after around three days, however, you will see the full effect of the treatment after two weeks. These results will last between three to six months, at which point you will require a top-up appointment to maintain your new smile. The more you have the treatment, the more effective and long-lasting your results will be.
How does Botox compare to surgical options?
Surgical gummy smile treatment options usually involve removing excess gum tissue through a combination of cutting, reshaping, and laser treatment to balance and enhance your smile. Depending on the type of surgery that is right for you, the procedure may involve general anaesthesia and downtime whilst the area heals. Botox is the least invasive and most short-term way of dealing with a gummy smile. It’s a quick and painless treatment and can also be a great way to test out what the result may look like before undergoing more invasive surgery.
To find out more about our treatment options or book a consultation with one of our expert practitioners, click here.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.