The appearance of a “gummy smile” is a condition that affects as much as 10% of the young adult population. Technically known as Excess Gingival Display, the visual presence of too much gum tissue when you smile can be caused by a number of factors.  While some patients may have simply developed an overabundance of gum tissue, others may have excess bone structure in the front portion of the upper jaw.  The condition can also be attributed to a particularly short upper lip or an upper lip that tends to retract too much during a full smile. Women appear to be affected by Excess Gingival Display twice as often as men, and the condition seems to be more prevalent in the African-American population.

An Effective Surgical Solution

Lip Repositioning is a relatively recently developed surgical procedure in which a gummy smile can be surgically corrected when the condition has been found to be the result of a high or hyperactive upper lip. By lowering the position of the connective tissue that attaches the upper lip to the gums, we can restrict or limit the movement and retraction of the lip during a full smile. It’s a brief and minimally invasive surgical procedure which will dramatically reduce the visible amount of gum tissue that is exposed when you smile.

The Lip Repositioning Procedure

BEFORE
AFTER

How is an overactive lip brought under control? By numbing the lips and gums with local anesthetics and then gently removing a small strip of tissue from underneath the upper lip, the lip can then be sutured into a slightly lower position.

After an initial consultation, the surgical portion of the lip repositioning procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes under local anesthesia. The necessary incisions are performed on the inside of the mouth, resulting in minimal or no scarring after healing has occurred. This simple surgical procedure produces no external scarring and no disruption in terms of speech or facial movements.

Learn More

For an evaluation of your smile and to learn more about the lip repositioning procedure, call to schedule a consultation today.