Gummy Smile

In an ideal, prefect smile, the upper lip sits just above the top teeth. But some people will either have a high lip line, revealing too much of the gum, creating what is known as Gummy Smile.

People who have a high lip line are usually extremely self-conscious about it. They may place a hand over the mouth when smiling or laughing, or even avoid smiling at all, to conceal the appearance of gummy smile.

Here are some frequently asked questions from clients of Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick about Gummy Smile, and how it can be treated.

One of the contributors to ‘gummy smile’ is hyperactivity of the muscles that elevates the upper lip. Another factor is a thin upper lip, which can expose more of the upper gum when smiling.
Modern advances in dentistry have simplified the treatments for reduction of gummy smile, and enhanced their effectiveness. Often, the most effective option is to inject a muscle-relaxing neurotoxin into the elevator muscles of the upper lip. This weakens the hyperactive muscles, thereby reducing the elevation of the upper lip.
Treatment for hyperactive elevator muscle involves administration of a local anaesthetic, to ensure the patient will feel no pain.
Along with the local anaesthetic, and the injections of neurotoxin, this treatment usually takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
With the ongoing progressing weakening of the elevator muscles, the patient should noticed a marked softening of upper lip elevation within three to four days of treatment, which will last for up to four months.
Another cause of Gummy Smile is a thin upper lip, which can be treated by augmenting the upper lip with fillers. Your dentist will advice on the best options prior to any treatments.