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Correcting a Gummy Smile at Skin Medical

A gummy smile, characterised by excessive gum visibility when smiling, can be effectively treated at Skin Medical to enhance your smile’s balance.

What is a gummy smile?

A gummy smile, also known as excessive gingival display, is when a significant portion of the gum is visible above the upper teeth when smiling. In a typical smile, only a small amount of the gum is visible, whereas more gum is exposed in a gummy smile. Despite not being a health concern, this can alter the overall appearance of a person’s smile, which can impact confidence and increase self-consciousness. 

Gummy smiles are usually genetic, and there are numerous reasons why somebody might have one.  It could be that the teeth are partially covered by the gum, or that the teeth are small in comparison to the gum. It could also be that the upper lip lifts too high when smiling, exposing more of the gum than in a typical smile. This is called a hyperactive upper lip, and can be treated using an anti-wrinkle injection to soften the muscle.

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So how can anti-wrinkle injections reduce a gummy smile? 

Botulinum toxin injections have become an increasingly popular solution for treating gummy smiles. It achieves this by primarily targeting the muscles above the smile, which are responsible for the lifting of the upper lip. The result is the temporary softening and relaxing of this muscle, which reduces the amount the lip is lifted when smiling.

  • Procedure Time: Between 10-15 minutes 
  • Recommended Sessions: 1
  • Results: (immediate / after 3 weeks eg) can kick-in within 2-3 days
  • Duration of Result: 3 to 4 months
  • Full Recovery:  Immediate 
  • Side Effects: Swelling and redness at the injection site, bruising or pain at the injection site, headache, nausea or flu like symptoms, dry mouth, temporary drooping of the upper lip, injury to blood vessels. 
  • Back to Work: Immediate  
  • Price: ££ – £££


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Frequently Asked Questions

All of the questions you need to ask about Gummy Smile

What are the benefits of treating a gummy smile with botulinum toxins?

There are many benefits, but crucially the results are natural and quick. The procedure causes little discomfort and recovery is immediate. It is also a cost-effective way to correct a gummy smile, compared to other treatment options such as surgery. 

How much will it cost to fix my gummy smile?

A botulinum toxin injection to reduce the hyperactive lip will be anywhere from £200-£400 and would have to be repeated roughly every four to six months.

Can you grow out of a gummy smile?

Whilst it is possible that you could grow out of a gummy smile, there is also a chance that it could get worse, as the jaw continues to develop with age. 

Is a gummy smile attractive?

Smiles are incredibly expressive and are central to our facial communication. Individuals with a gummy smile have often expressed feeling self-conscious and perceive themselves as less attractive due to the excessive display of the gum.

What is the recovery time for fat injections?

Recovery times can vary based on the extent of the procedure and the individual’s healing process. Typically, patients can return to normal activities within a few days. However, it’s recommended to avoid strenuous activities for up to a few weeks to allow the transferred fat to stabilise.

Can a lip lowering procedure help with a gummy smile?

If your gummy smile stems from the muscles controlling your lip’s elevation, toxin injections can help to alter this. These injections work by calming the muscles responsible for the heightened lip position, thereby lowering it. For a more enduring solution, or in severe cases, a lip lowering procedure offers an alternative solution.

Does surgery to fix a gummy smile help?

The answer to this depends largely on the underlying cause of the gummy smile. If it has been caused by the positioning of the jaw, then there are some surgical options available to help. Maxillofacial surgery can adjust bone position, while alternative surgeries like gum repositioning and lip lowering are also available. Crown lengthening, another option, involves removing extra gum tissue to reveal more of the tooth’s crown, giving the illusion of longer teeth. Typically, a periodontist, specialising in gum health, performs this procedure.

Can I Have More Filler Put in Afterwards?

It is advised to allow two weeks after the procedure before adding more filler to the area. This allows the enzyme to fully dissolve the original filler as desired, ensuring optimal results.

Do lip fillers help with a gummy smile?

Lip fillers could help if the cause of the gummy smile is that the top lip is too high or thin. This would then lead to more of the gum being exposed than if the top lip was fuller. In this scenario, a subtle and slight enhancement could help to balance out the lips, and as a result improve the appearance of a gummy smile.

Is it painful?

The treatment is generally not painful as the injections made above the smile are very small and a numbing cream can be applied beforehand. Whilst some patients may experience minor discomfort or a slight pinch during the injections, it is a virtually painless procedure.

How many injections will I need?

Over time, the muscles above the lip will gradually regain their former function, and so retreatment may be required to sustain the desired outcome. The effect of botulinum toxin in treating a gummy smile can last approximately 3-4 months. 

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