NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A simple smile—there’s hardly a better way to show the world who we are. Yet, for many people, their smile is, well, nothing to smile about. It’s too gummy, leading to the catchphrase “gummy grin” and, recently, to an innovative, non-invasive treatment by way of occasional Botox injections.
We’re talking about smiles that show a lot of gum above the upper teeth. These gummy grins have a variety of causes, from teeth that are too short to an upper lip that lifts too high. And, while expensive surgical options, such as reducing the gums or severing upper lip muscles, were once the main avenue for treatment, now, as the New York Times has noted, Botox is igniting a paradigm shift in how we deal with gummy grins.
“A smile says so much about the individual. Yet those with gummy grins keep a tight lid on their smiles, making sure to keep their lips pressed closely together rather than flashing a full, genuine smile,” says Dr. Tenley Lawton, a Newport Beach plastic surgeon. “Likely these individuals have been self-conscious about their smiles for years, maybe decades. Now Botox offers them a simple solution that’s easy, affordable, non-invasive and, most importantly, allows them to finally smile without inhibition.”
By relaxing certain muscles in the upper lip, Botox prohibits the lip from lifting so high that it creates a gummy grin. The result is a smile with no more than two millimeters of gums showing—the ideal in studies cited by the New York Times.
While surgery can rack up $15,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for individuals, a Botox session costs roughly $300. Most patients with gummy grins are looking at twice yearly injections. It’s a small commitment that will have gummy grinners smiling from ear to ear.