If You Don’t Like Your Gummy Smile, a Dentist Can Help

There are a lot of aesthetic considerations that go into making a smile look perfect that go beyond straightness and whiteness of teeth. Gummy smiles are a cosmetic concern that many people feel frustrated by. In essence, a gummy smile appears when you smile because the upper lip moves up high enough that you can see the gums above your upper teeth. Fixing this problem is a possibility that a dentist can actually help with. Here's what you should know about this problem and its solutions.

The Old Way

Traditionally, the main way of resolving gummy smiles was through surgery. These surgeries would disconnect the upper lip from the face and then stitch it further down on the gums. While not generally risky, any kind of surgical procedure on the face comes with a small risk of nerve damage, which can cause numbness or even partial paralysis. When combined with the discomfort and infection risk that comes with surgery naturally, many people have looked for options that can give them the look they want without these concerns.

The New Way

While surgery is still sometimes utilized, most people can find support with a simple injection from a dentist. This injection is actually made up of Botox.

Most people think of Botox as just something that you have injected to avoid the appearance of aging, but its uses go far beyond that. Botox keeps muscles from contracting as strongly as normal, which is where it derives its anti-wrinkle benefits. However, this same capability can be applied to the upper lip. This means that when you smile, your upper lip won't move as much, preventing the gummy smile from appearing while still letting you emote fully.

How a Dentist Helps

Dentists are a great choice for this procedure because they have ample training in the structures of the mouth and face. This understanding of facial anatomy helps them to determine exactly where the Botox should be injected for maximum benefits. They also provide safe and clean facilities that allow you to undergo this outpatient procedure in a sterile environment. With none of the risks that come with surgery, it's a great choice. It's also worth noting that Botox doesn't last forever, so if you decide that you like your gummy smile at some point in the future, all you need to do is not get a follow-up treatment. Over time, the Botox will be broken down by the body and you'll return to your original appearance. Thankfully, though, maintaining the changes is just as easy, as all you need to do is revisit your dentist for a new injection, typically after a year or two.