Your gums can impact the way your smile looks. If too much or little gum tissue is exposed, we could perceive our smile as being less attractive. Although not technically a serious medical issue on its own, a gummy smile is when a disproportionate amount of gum tissue is visible above the teeth when smiling.
What Causes a Gummy Smile?
- An upper lip that appears a normal length when resting, but lifts too high when smiling
- The upper lip is too short and does not cover enough of the gums
- The gums are too long or enlarged
- Teeth erupted improperly and remain covered by gum tissue
- Genetically small teeth
- Vertical maxillary excess
In most cases, these factors are completely genetic. However, there are treatment options to improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
What Are the Available Treatments for Gummy Smile?
- Jaw surgery
- Removal of excess gum tissue
- Lip repositioning surgery
- BOTOX / Botulinum Toxin Injections
Is BOTOX an Ideal Option Among Them?
Botulinum Toxin, also known as BOTOX, has been used for years as a wrinkle correction therapy option. Over the last few years, dentists have acknowledged the toxin can also be effective in correcting the appearance of gummy smiles.
A March 2014 study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that BOTOX is a completely safe treatment option that has virtually no healing period. It can be a cost-effective option in comparison to more invasive surgeries, but keep in mind that the results will only be temporary, lasting for around 3 to 4 months, before the area must be injected again to freeze the lip muscles.
Can Older Patients Get This Treatment?
Older patients can receive BOTOX treatment for their gummy smile. However, as the skin and muscles begin to lose their elasticity, Botulinum Toxin will lose its effectiveness on the body.
Who Shouldn’t Have BOTOX Treatment?
Everyone with a gummy smile could be a potential candidate for this kind of treatment. Assuming their smile is a result of a hyperactive upper lip which exposes too much of the gum tissue when smiling. We are a dentist in Southend that can provide information tailored to your situation, if you are unsure if you would make a good candidate for BOTOX to treat a gummy smile.
Are There Any Adverse Effects? What Are They?
Some adverse effects such as headaches, asymmetric smiles, and sad-looking smiles can occur. However, these effects are generally short term, and the latter two can be corrected with additional injections.
In conclusion, BOTOX can be a viable, fast, and temporary treatment option for gummy smiles. The treatment has been gaining traction within the dentistry industry for the past few years and is expected to rise in popularity. Contact your dentist if you have any further questions about the treatment and your eligibility.