When we all smile, there are muscles in the upper lip that pull the lip upward. It is a similar process to muscles in the cheek that pull up the corners of the mouth.
In some people, the upper lip muscles are very strong; perhaps too strong. When these individuals smile, their upper lip gets pulled up enough to reveal a large portion of the gums above the upper teeth, creating a "gummy" smile.
The muscle in question has a very lengthy and Latin name: the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi. It extends from the upper inner cheek down to the junction of the nose and upper lip.
In order to reduce the appearance of a "gummy" smile, Botox needs to be injected precisely into this muscle. When we administer Botox, we inject it equally on both sides and in very small amounts to start.
Basically, the goal is to use enough Botox to lower the upper lip slightly by smiling such that the upper gum is not exposed. If too much Botox is used, the upper lip can droop.
If not injected equally on both sides, the smile will be uneven. Therefore, these types of techniques need to be used only by expert injectors who have a full range of experience with Botox, particularly in the lower part of the face.
While the treatment of the "gummy" smile with Botox can be tricky, we at Maine Laser Skin Care have had consistent results with high patient satisfaction. If you have any questions about this treatment or any other aesthetic skin issues, please call us either at (207) 303-0125 in Scarborough or (207) 873-2158 in Augusta to schedule a free consultation and/or treatment.