I read on your website that you can treat a gummy smile with botox. How effective is it and how often will I have to have it done?Monday, August 17th, 2009
There are several reasons for people to have a gummy smile. One is gingival hyperplasia, which needs to be treated by a periodontist to resect away some of the extra gum. Most people who have a gummy smile, however, have a condition of increased tone and contraction of their upper lip retractor muscles which causes the upper lip to raise a bit too much.
There is a surgery to help weaken these muscles, but it is not without its potential downsides and complications.
Botox is a good option for many patients who have a gummy smile because it can be used to weaken those upper lip retractor muscles. Over time, your upper lip gets retrained to not elevate so much, and after a couple of treatments with botox you might not need it again.
This technique is not for the novice botox injector. Too much, and your lip wont raise enough, too little and you will need more, or if injected asymmetrically, you might have a funny asymetrical smile.
Speaking of an asymentrical smile, botox can sometimes be used to make your smile more symmetrical.
I have many patients who are extremely happy with their botox treatment for their gummy smile. Most of them come in every 4-6 months for their injection, and a good number of them never need it again after about 3-4 treatments.
You should see your gummy smile improve after about 4-5 days, and your gummy smile should keep improving for about 10-14 days. After that point, you might need to come back in to get a small touch up (which I do not charge for). This is especially true if it is your first injection, since I am very conservative and would rather aim on the side of caution. I would rather need to give you a small touch up than over do it and give you a paralyzed lip for 1-2 months.
Botox for a gummy smile is relatively painless and quick. It can be done in under 5 minutes in the office.
you can read a bit more about botox for a gummy smile by visiting our gummy smile page.