When you smile, your upper lips curl up over your teeth, revealing too much of your gums? This excess of gingival display, commonly called gummy smile, can sometimes be embarrassing. Some people, complexed by their “ferocious” smile, prevent themselves from smiling, in order not to attract the gaze of others. An aesthetic solution may then be necessary to correct this part of the face, and find a more harmonious smile. Lip plastic surgery offers several kinds of simple and quick treatments with excellent results, without pain or scars, allowing you to say goodbye to your complexes and express your smile naturally…
What is a gummy smile?
The gummy smile, allows the whole of the teeth and the gums to appear in a partial or complete way. The lips turn up too much when they contract, revealing the teeth and the gum tissue in a more or less pronounced way, presenting a mouth that is too open, too visible on the face.
Causes of the gingival smile
When we smile, several parts of the face interact : the facial muscles pull up the lower lip and the upper lip, revealing the gums, the maxilla and each tooth. The gummy smile can be caused by one (or more) physiological or muscular anomaly of these different elements of the facial anatomy.
- The gum, very developed, goes up too high on the upper jaw.
- The upper and/or lower lip is too thin, too short, not sufficiently hiding the gums.
- The upper lip’s lifting muscles are overactive and unbalance the shape and position of the smile.
- The dental implant is too far up towards the nose.
- The shape and/or position of the mandible is abnormal, with a too short break between the upper lip and gum.
- Excessive height of the maxilla.
The different treatments of gummy smile
Depending on the importance of the gummy smile, your budget and your aesthetic preferences, several options are available to those who wish to embellish their smile, by partly hiding the gums and removing excessive gum tissue. A gummy smile can be treated with a laser procedure prior to the placement of implants, crowns or dental veneers, in order to balance the smile and adapt it to the new teeth. The best option will be decided with your cosmetic surgeon, especially with the help of digital imaging, which allows for a better visualization of the final result, based on photos taken before the procedure. In most cases, laser treatment of the gums is sufficient, or can be combined with botox injections. For a more complex gum treatment with surgery, the risks of complication exist, but remain seldom. The intervention can lead to bleeding, infections, as well as an asymmetrical smile, hence the absolute necessity to choose an experienced surgeon.
With the help of microsurgery techniques, it is possible to correct a gingival smile quickly and permanently, without pain or surgery, with the use of the diode laser. Thanks to its pen-like tip, the periodontal surgeon can redraw the gumline over each tooth : a common procedure with a very satisfying result, before the placement of veneers, implants or dental crowns, to align the smile with the new teeth and achieve the aesthetic goals agreed upon with the patient. In the case of an excessive gingival display that is too pronounced, the laser treatment can be completed with gum botox injections.
Botox, also known as hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin, is injected on the sides of the nose, in order to loosen the upper lip lift muscle. The exposed gums will then be more covered by the upper lip. Between 2 and 3 injections are performed, without generating pain or visible marks. The result is visible after 3 to 15 days, once any tooth bruising caused by the injection has faded. The disadvantages of this treatment are its short duration (6 months maximum), which makes it necessary to repeat the toxin injections regularly. Excessive swelling of the lip, masking the teeth and missing the desired effect, can also occur.
Liplift, or lip plasty
This cosmetic surgery procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, aims to perform a lip lift, which changes the position of the upper lip and lowers it to better hide the gums when the smile muscles contract. The procedure lasts a maximum of one day, except when the operation is more important and requires a general anesthetic. The lip remains swollen for the next 10 to 15 days before your new smile is fully revealed. No scar is visible, and the result is permanent.
Gingivoplasty, also called gingivectomy, is an operation performed in a dental office by a cosmetic dentist. It creates a more harmonious shape to the gums, when they are hypertrophied or misaligned on the tooth. Performed under local anesthesia, it does not require hospitalization and does not cause any visible scarring. The gums can then be swollen for one to two weeks before taking on their final appearance.
Orthognathic surgery on the jawbone
This is the most extensive procedure for correcting a gummy smile, as it impacts the jawbone to reduce its height. In the same way as facial bone surgery (cheekbones, nose…), the specialized surgeon will break, before reshaping the upper part of the jaw. The operation requires a general anesthesia, with one night spent in the clinic. Also, the recovery takes a while, and can cause noticeable pain in the jaw area during the first few days. The hematoma produced by the maxillary impaction osteotomy will subside after about two weeks and will not cause any visible scarring. The result is definitive.
Before the operation
As with any cosmetic operation, an initial medical interview with your cosmetic surgeon allows you to explain your wishes and enables him or her to analyze the anatomy of your smile and propose an appropriate solution. An appointment with the anesthesiologist is necessary in case of general anesthesia, as well as a possible orthodontic check-up, with an X-ray of the oral area.
While botox injections and laser treatment of the gingival smile do not last more than an hour, lip plasty and gingivoplasty require several hours of surgery, under local anesthesia, in a clinic or dental office. Orthognathic surgery requires an overnight stay in a clinic to manage the awakening after the general anesthesia.
It is essential to follow all the recommendations of your surgeon for post-operative care. Except for botox, plan at least two days of rest after the treatment of a gummy smile during a surgical treatment. Because of the hematoma on the lower face, which fades 10 to 15 days after the operation, it is necessary to take a few days off work.
Why have a gummy smile treated in Turkey?
Istanbul, Turkey, is a major destination for medical tourism, especially for any cosmetic, plastic or dental surgery : the medical teams, the specialized clinics, their experience and their knowledge of the latest treatments available, fills European patients with confidence for treating a gummy smile in Istanbul. It is obvious that medical travel is only justified in the case of a more serious treatment, for the installation of dental veneers or crowns, with gingival laser treatment, or for a gingivoplasty or an osteotomy. Especially if it allows you to save 40 to 80% on the operation compared to the rates charged in the UK, The Netherlands or the United States, for a gummy smile treatment. At BodyExpert, the Gummy Smile laser treatment is proposed at the same time as dental treatments such as crowns and/or veneers, for a better result.
Price of gummy smile treatments in Turkey at Bodyexpert
- Laser gingivoplasty treatment : 350/£300
- Botox gummy smile treatment: 200€/£170 per dose (count 1 to 3 doses). To be repeated 6 months later if needed
- Liplift : 1200€/£1030.
- Maxillary osteotomy : from 1500€/£1300
- Storrer CL, Valverde FK, Santos FR, Deliberador TM. Treatment of gummy smile: Gingival recontouring with the containment of the elevator muscle of the upper lip and wing of nose. A surgery innovation technique. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2014;18(5):656-660. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.142468
- Mahardawi, Basel & Wongsirichat, Natthamet. (2019). Gummy Smile: A Review of Etiology, Manifestations, and Treatment. Siriraj Medical Journal. 71. 168-174. 10.33192/Smj.2019.26.
- Mashael A. Foudah, Lip repositioning: An alternative to invasive surgery a 4 year follow up case report, The Saudi Dental Journal, Volume 31, Supplement, 2019, Pages S78-S84, ISSN 1013-9052, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sdentj.2019.02.030.