A genuine smile, when your lips sweep upward and your sparkling eyes crinkle, is a beautiful thing. It signals joy and human connection. For some people, that joy might be affected by a condition known as a gummy smile. It’s when your smile reveals more of your gums than you’d like. In clinical terms, it’s called excessive gingival display. Whether you consider your smile “too gummy” is largely a matter of personal aesthetics. But you should know that it’s fairly common.
You might be surprised to hear that there isn’t a set definition of a gummy smile and it’s mainly based on perception. You likely know a gummy smile when you see one. In fact, there have been studies done to determine what people consider excessive gingival display. In most cases, subjects rated smiles as attractive when two millimeters or less of gum tissue was exposed. At around three millimeters or more, the smile was thought to be gummy. Interestingly, the condition is more common in women than men.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
- There are a number of causes of a gummy smile, however, the most common ones are:
- Teeth that appear short because they erupted improperly and remain partially covered by gum tissue
- Teeth that are small in comparison to the gums due to genetics or wear
- An upper lip that is too short
- A hyperactive upper lip that is normal in length when the face is resting but lifts too high when smiling exposing a lot of gum tissue
- Gums that are long or enlarged, known as gingival hypertrophy
- An overgrowth of the upper jaw, called vertical maxillary excess, that makes gums bulge out
A gummy smile is one that shows more of your gumline than you’d prefer. It’s also known as excessive gingival display.
If a gummy smile is affecting your self-esteem or you’re concerned about the health of your gums, you have several options for correcting it. Some treatment options are more invasive and expensive than others. Whether you decide to alter your gums or not, know this: The world is a brighter place when your smile lights it up, no matter what it looks like.
You may notice that the causes are all related to the teeth, lips, jaws or gums, which happen to be the key components that dictate your smile aesthetics. It’s all about proportion and positioning and when one piece of the smile puzzle isn’t correct, it can throw everything off. In the majority of instances, the condition behind a gummy smile is genetic so there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.
Botox is a newer contender and it’s a much cheaper gummy smile treatment option than surgery. However, the results are temporary and last about three to four months and it will only work when the upper lip is the culprit. A doctor injects the lip with Botox, which paralyzes the muscle and prevents it from lifting too high when you smile.
When some people smile, their upper lip elevates too far above their upper teeth, exposing gums and producing an unattractive “Gummy Smile.” One reason for this phenomenon could be due the presence of a hyperactive muscle which pulls the lip too far up when smiling. Occasionally, the gummy smile is also aggravated by a thin upper lip that further contributes to the problem by exposing the upper gum even more.
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.
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. The treatment is incredibly effective, and the results usually last 3 months
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.
Individuals, whose gums stand out more than their smile does, often control their smiles and feel self-conscious. Botox when injected at certain strategic points above the upper lips, lowers the upper lip by up to 5 mm to partially or totally hide the gums and give a more beautiful smile. The technique is very delicate and if not performed professionally, may result in what is known as “crooked smile.”
Results from Botox treatment of the above the lip area start a few days after the injections and may last up to three to four months.
If a thin upper lip is a contributing factor, Lumina’s doctor may suggest concomitant upper lip augmentation with a FDA approved filler, such as Juvederm.
As with any injection, it is possible that there may be some minor swelling, tenderness and bruising in the area. Additionally, one must always follow aftercare instructions, and make sure not to touch or massage the treated area after the procedure. Lumina’s doctors will advise you not to lie down for about 4 hours after the injection and to avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin in the 48 hours following your gummy smile correction, as these medicines can sometimes act like blood thinners and make any bruising around the injection site appear much worse.
You may reach our patient care coordinator by clicking the “Contact” button at the top of the page, or by calling +6281228888837. Our team will be delighted to assist you with any enquiries regarding cost, additional information, or scheduling a consultation session with Lumina’s doctor. Consultations with the doctor are complimentary. See you soon at Lumina Aesthetics. ^^