A gummy smile is when a patient shows too much gum compared to the ideal when they smile. The gummy smile is one of the most common cosmetic concerns. If you are self-conscious about a gummy smile, there are options available to enhance the beauty of your smile through gummy smile reduction and lip lowering..

There are Different Causes of a Gummy Smile

When evaluating the cosmetics of a smile, an experienced cosmetic dentist will evaluate the gummy smile to improve the harmony of the overall facial aesthetics. There are a few different causes of a gummy smile. One of the causes of a gummy smile is when the teeth are the proper size and in the proper position in relation to the face, but the lip rises excessively when smiling. The gummy condition is typically even more exaggerated when the patient laughs. That condition is most often treated with a reverse vestibuloplasty, also called lip lowering. That is the improvement we will discuss today.

What is a Reverse Vestibuloplasty?

gummy smile treatment by crown lengtheningA procedure called a reverse vestibuloplasty or a gummy smile reduction can improve a hypermobile lip. A reverse vestibuloplasty is also called a lip lowering surgery. The procedure is a minimally invasive office procedure that reduces the amount the lip rises when you smile or laugh. The height is customized based on the patient’s goals and to harmonize best with the beauty of the patient’s other facial features.

During a reverse vestibuloplasty procedure, two minor incisions are made under the lip, and a small band of gum tissue is removed. By adjusting this area of gum tissue, the surgeon can modify the level the lip rises to when smiling or laughing. The area is sutured to achieve the desired position.

What is healing like for a Reverse Vestibuloplasty?

Lip lowering recovery is generally only 3 to 4 days. There is typically moderate pain and minimal swelling, which is manageable with pain medications and antibiotics. Sutures are removed at 3 weeks post-op. The procedure heals without any noticeable internal or external scars. When healing is completed the lip rise and lip shape will be normal, symmetrical, and at a more appropriate vertical position, that enhances the beauty of the rest of the face.

The Most Important Instruction for Healing After a Gummy Smile Reduction

The key for ideal healing after the lip lowering surgery is for the patient to limit any smiling or laughing for the first 4 weeks after. Laughing or smiling too soon after a reverse vestibuloplasty can increase the risk of relapse. Your surgeon will be monitoring you during this time to help guide your healing. At Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction, we typically see patients at a 1 week follow up, and a 3 week follow up to monitor healing.

Contact Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction Today!

If you are self-conscious about a gummy smile, there are options available. The reverse vestibuloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that helps a large number of gummy smiles. However, it is not appropriate in all cases. Other options may be better suited for your specific case such as gingivectomy, orthodontics, or crown lengthening/veneers. Research cosmetic dentists in your area with extensive experience with gingival aesthetics and gummy smiles. An expert in gummy smile evaluation will be able to take pictures of your smile and discuss your goals for treatment. The beauty of your smile may be enhanced to make being self-conscious a part of your past!

Dr. Charles Sutera is the leader of gummy smile treatment in Massachusetts. His practice Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction is located in Waltham, MA, and serves the entire Boston metro area for cosmetic gum treatment. Dr. Sutera has advanced training in facial aesthetics, cosmetic dental surgery, as well as cosmetic restorative dentistry. He has successfully performed hundreds of gummy smile reductions in patients with predictable success. View some of our before and after photos. Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction strives to provide beautiful, life-changing dental health care that you will be proud of. Contact us today to learn more about lip lowering procedures available.