What is a gummy smile?

A gummy smile is or excessive gum show on smiling.

What causes a gummy smile?

A gummy smile can be a result of a genetically short upper lip or overactive lip elevator muscles when smiling.

Gummy smile can also be due to ‘long face syndrome’. This results from difficulties with breathing through the nose during development. Mouth breathing and failure of the tongue to rest on the palate of the mouth results. In turn, this leads to downwards growth of the maxilla (the upper jaw) rather than widening of the maxilla with development. This produces a long face, difficulties with closing the mouth, a relatively short upper lip and gum show.

How can a gummy smile be treated?

Orthognatic surgery to move the maxilla (upper jaw) upwards along with orthodontics can be used to treat a gummy smile. However, this procedure requires a substantial recovery. Dentists can also perform a gum lift.

For those looking for a less invasive treatment, a combination of muscle relaxing injections and dermal fillers can be used to improve the appearance of a gummy smile.

Muscle relaxing injections can be injected into the muscle that elevates the upper lip – levator labii superioris alaeque nasi. A small amount is injected to reduce the activity of this muscle and reduce the height of the upper lip. The muscle that inverts the upper lip (curls it in), can also be injected with muscle relaxing injections. This muscle is the orbicularis oris muscle. This allows more eversion of the lip (curling out of the lip), especially when smiling. One side effect of this treatment is the loss of some function of the upper lip, and difficulties with sucking on a straw, sipping tea or whistling. This problem is usually short-lived and well tolerated by most who have the treatment.

Dermal fillers can be injected into the upper lip to help increase the thickness of the upper lip to further cover some of the upper lip.

Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute?

Our practitioners have many years of specialist experience. We allow you ample time to communicate your aesthetic goals to us and use our expertise to help you achieve your desired outcome.

Our goals with your treatment are to;

  • Provide you with a careful and honest aesthetic assessment
  • Achieve the best aesthetic result possible
  • Cause as little bruising and swelling as possible
  • Ensure that your procedure is as comfortable as possible for you.

Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.

Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.

For estimate volumes and costs for dermal filler and or anti-wrinkle injections please visit the Cosmetic consultation and treatments pricing page.