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A gummy smile is one that shows a large portion of your gums whenever you smile or laugh.  This can cause you to be self-conscious when you talk or laugh which gets in the way of everyday life.  We all need to express ourselves so if there’s a treatment out there, it is well worth it.

This condition is diagnosed medically when more than 2mm of gum becomes visible while smiling caused by a variety of things such as jaw and tooth development.  Usually, the condition behind a gummy smile is genetic, so it’s not possible to prevent it.  The problem is common so you are not on your own.

There are several treatments for gummy smiles and which one is right for you will depend on the severity of the gum exposure and what underlying causes there are.

Botox is one of the most popular procedures for dealing with hiding gum tissue. Occasionally, a gummy smile is caused by the muscle that controls the movement of your upper lip being “hyperactive”, which causes your upper lip to sit higher up than normal, therefore exposing more of your gum tissue when you smile.  We can solve this by injecting Botox either side of the nostrils, to stop the “elevator” muscles there pulling the top lip up too far, effectively dropping it a few millimetres so your gums aren’t exposed when you smile. Alternatively, a few tiny drops in the lip line stop your top lip “rolling in” and disappearing.  Full visible results can take unto 2 weeks.

In some cases, lip fillers can improve the appearance of a gummy smile if the top lip is positioned too high and is thin, leading to more exposure of the gums than if the lip was fuller. In this case subtle enhancement and balancing of the upper lip can greatly improve the appearance of a gummy smile. We can also use fillers in the cheeks and nasolabial folds to affect other elevator muscles of the face which can become overactive. Depending on where filler is placed, above or below muscles can make them stronger or weaker through mechanical myomodulation.