Reason to Smile

Once primarily treated by serious surgery, gingivectomies or in extreme cases orthognathic surgery, patients who are unhappy with their gummy smiles have a cost-effective, non-invasive alternative. During the last few years, Botox has provided a quick and easy solution. A study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal, led by Paul Smith, M.D., at the University of South Florida (Tampa), found this procedure to be a safe and minimally invasive solution for a gummy smile. In the study, participants saw an 85 percent improvement and reported a high rate of satisfaction—a majority wanted to continue treatment.To reduce the amount of gums showing when smiling, doctors inject Botox into the upper lip elevator muscles to paralyze them and inhibit the contraction of the upper lip when smiling. As a result, Botox is only effective if the problem is due to the lips and not the bone. Clients should take care to find an experienced surgeon because overinjection in this area can create an unnatural look.