Over 25 years ago, celebrity periodontist and gum specialist Dr. Alex Farnoosh developed lip lowering surgery to provide a simple option for gummy smile correction. Today at his Beverly Hills practice he continues to help men and women from Los Angeles and all around the world smile more confidently with little to no downtime. This page provides answers to many common questions about treatments for a gummy smile.
You can start enjoying attractive gums and smiling with total confidence. Request an appointment with Dr. Farnoosh, or call (310) 657-0503 to set up a consultation. To help make your procedure affordable, he offers several convenient financing options through leading healthcare credit companies.
In a perfect smile, the upper lip sits just above the top of the teeth. A “gummy smile,” however, exposes a larger than average amount of gum tissue and has a noticeably disproportionate gum-to-tooth ratio. Gummy smiles affect about 15% of all Americans, especially women and younger people.
Gummy Smile Before & After Photos
Gummy Smile Correction Before Lip Lowering After Notice before gummy smile correction, this patient showed approximately the same amout of gum tissue as front teeth. After surgery, the patient’s teeth are the focus of her smile.
Very simply, if your upper lip reveals a substantial amount of gum tissue when you smile, you can benefit from this procedure. Sometimes, people don’t realize that their high lip line is the problem and instead think that they need to have their teeth lengthened or gums raised. Dr. Farnoosh can combine these treatments with lip lowering surgery, but it’s likely that lip lowering alone will give you the attractive smile you’re looking for.
Gummy Smile Before and After Photos
Before – A patient with a high lip line and a gummy smile.
After – The patient’s lip was repositioned and brought down slightly to show less gum.
No, it can actually provide multiple improvements to your appearance. In addition to covering more of your gums, lip lowering surgery often makes the upper lip look fuller and more attractive.
The gummy smile technique Dr. Farnoosh offers ranges in price from $4,000 to $10,000. Pricing depends on the complexity of your case and the amount of surgical work Dr. Farnoosh will need to perform. As a gum specialist, Dr. Farnoosh will review your individual case during your consultation and provide you with a complete price quote based on his evaluation.
Today there are many less invasive and more affordable treatments for a gummy smile. In the past, people who were bothered by a gummy smile were limited to a type of surgery called “orthognathic surgery” (jaw surgery). This risky procedure often involves breaking the upper jaw and removing pieces of bone. Not everyone is willing to go through with this treatment because of the complexity of the surgery, discomfort, hospitalization, and inherent risk and complications. Also, this procedure usually requires the jaw to be wired and stabilized for an extended period. In addition to its physical advantages, gummy smile surgery is considerably more affordable than jaw surgery, which often costs between $35,000 and $40,000.
In some cases, combining gummy smile treatment with crown lengthening or excess gum tissue removal may be required to create an attractive smile. Aesthetic gum bleaching can also improve the look of dark or discolored gums for an overall more pleasing and healthier appearance.
When the gum-to-tooth ratio of your smile is imbalanced, you may be said to have excess gingival display, or a gummy smile. Excess gingival display can cause your teeth to look abnormally small or overshadowed by gum tissue. You may feel self-conscious about the way you look or try to smile in ways that hide the gum tissue. Corrective procedures are available that can transform your smile for a more attractive, balanced appearance. You may be a candidate for:
Lip lowering: If a hypermobile lip is responsible for your gummy smile, we can use “lip lowering,” a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of your lip and reduce the gummy look of your smile. Some patients require BOTOX® injections in conjunction with lip lowering.
Crown lengthening: This is a procedure in which the excess tissues are removed from the tooth. In some cases, the bone may also need to be adjusted. This exposes more of the natural crown for a more attractive look.
Gum contouring: An uneven gum line can be treated using a combination of regenerating techniques and crown lengthening for a more balanced look.
BOTOX: BOTOX is a temporary treatment that relaxes the muscles of the upper lip to minimize the display of excess gums.
One of the benefits of this procedure is the minimal downtime involved. Most patients don’t experience significant discomfort, and complications are rare (but it’s important to follow Dr. Farnoosh’s postoperative instructions). Patients should avoid laughing suddenly in a way that results in a big smile, because it may pull the stitches. The upper lip typically feels tight for the first 2 weeks after surgery. This is temporary, and the lip gradually returns to normal, with many patients saying it even looks fuller and more appealing.
Case selection, patient education, and having realistic expectations are extremely important factors when it comes to achieving satisfying results. If a patient expects a perfect smile regardless of the complexity of the case, it may not be possible to achieve it. For example, certain conditions, such as a hypermobile lip with asymmetry, may be difficult to completely eliminate because of the inherited muscle pull or anatomical aberrations on one side. That said, nearly every case can be improved upon. As an experienced periodontist, Dr. Farnoosh always reminds his patients before surgery that the goal of treatment is to minimize the excessive display of gum tissue and reduce the gummy smile appearance. He will give you a good idea of the results you might be able to expect before you proceed with surgery.