Lips that rest high on the gums and appear out of proportion with the teeth and appearance of the rest of the smile are characterized as “gummy.” Gums largely only peek through as little, pinkish, or red “triangles” between the teeth. And while gummy smiles are authentic and endearing, we at Smile Horizons Dental Arts help to design the smiles that are most pleasing to each patient. After all, every patient that Dr. Hytham Elwi partners with from his Mississauga, ON office have different goals and personal preferences. Fortunately, Dr. Elwi can improve gummy smiles quickly and non-invasively with Botox®.
He applies his considerable expertise in cosmetic dentistry, smile makeovers, and full-mouth rehabilitation to correct those smiles that generally expose at least three millimeters of gingiva (gums) in the upper jaw. “Typical” smiles expose no more than two millimeters of gummy tissue. These imbalances can make patients feel like their teeth are “too small.” They may lack confidence and hide their smiles.
Getting to the “root” of a gummy smile
Known as “gingival hypertrophy,” gingiva that is oversized can produce a gummy smile. Such overgrowth in tissues may be caused by some medications. Surgery is an alternative treatment for enlarged gums. Additionally, patients with gummy smiles may have:
- An oversized upper jaw; such maxillary excess exposes more of the gingiva, and can be an inherited trait
- Overly short or “hyperactive” upper lips
- Small or “hidden” teeth that expose more gingiva
Treating gummy smiles with Botox®
Botox® represents a light-touch, non-surgical, quick, and well-tolerated way to bring balance and harmonious aesthetics to a gummy smile. This gel is formulated with Botulinum Toxin Type A. Dr. Elwi precisely injects Botox® with a fine needle to targeted treatment sites. As a “neuromodulator,” Botox® works by interfering with the neural signals that tell your muscles to contract. In turn, specific muscles responsible for an overly gummy smile are relaxed. As the tension in the upper lip rises and muscles eases, the gums provide appropriate “cover” when you smile. The lips do not retreat or pull back to reveal too much of the gingival tissue.
When at least one or two units of Botox® are injected into the area between the nose and upper lips, the smile no longer looks “gummy.” Attractive smile aesthetics and proportions are achieved. These results typically persist for three months or longer. So, maintenance injections are necessary to retain cosmetically pleasing proportions; however, touch-up appointments may be administered less frequently over time. Dr. Elwi’s patients also appreciate that they can get results (almost) in an instant. There is no downtime. They can get back to work and other activities immediately following each treatment session. Additional benefits of Botox® for a gummy smile include:
- Treatment is associated with minimal discomfort
- Side effects, such as tenderness, are further minimized with repeated treatment sessions
- There is nothing to “recover from,” no demands on your body for healing and no strain on your time and schedule
- When partnering with a skilled and experienced clinical team (like Smile Horizons Dental Arts), results from treatment look natural and not “overdone”; safety is supported, and risks are also avoided
- Injections are highly personalized to each patient’s needs
- Treatment represents an affordable alternative to invasive surgery and other techniques
Smile Horizons Dental Arts lives up to its name; we combine dental science and artistry to boost each patient’s smile appeal. Call (905) 607-8778 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elwi and learn more about potential options to enhance a gummy smile, including Botox®.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: If we determine that Botox® is the best way to treat your gummy smile, we will discuss many factors that can influence the cost of treatment with you well in advance. Those factors include the number of units of Botox® that are necessary to get desirable results, the complexity of each case, individual’s personal goals, and the frequency and number of maintenance injections. However, our patients have found it to be of great value. It is a more cost-effective alternative to gingivectomy (lip repositioning) and other invasive surgical treatments.
A: Patients who undergo Botox® treatment typically retain a balanced smile for three or four months. As with other treatments, the results and their duration vary from person to person.
A: Our patients like that the results from Botox® are visible soon after treatment, usually within two or three days. Full results are realized after around two weeks. At this time, the elevation of the upper lips decreases. Dr. Elwi may book a follow-up visit two to three weeks afterward to determine if further treatment is necessary and if Botox® injections are required to maintain desirable results.
A: Botox® injections trigger a process that relaxes the upper lip. Once the lip is at ease, it can rest naturally over the gums. More of the lip can then be seen, which minimizes the appearance of the gums. The injections are strategically placed above the upper lip and into the muscle around the mouth. Botox® temporarily relaxes these tissues, reducing the vertical lip lines and elevating the lip. This technique adds attractive definition and volume. Results can be seen a few days post-injection and typically persist for at least three months.
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Our Distinguished Dentist in Mississauga
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight!
Dr. Hytham Elwi
MSc Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics, DDS
Dr. Hytham Elwi is a highly qualified dentist with a specialization in Prosthodontic Dentistry. He obtained his DDS degree in 1993 and later completed an MSc in Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics. With over 12 years of experience in general dentistry, Dr. Elwi developed a special interest in implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Elwi's expertise lies in full mouth rehabilitation cases, and he has a confident approach in handling them. He is a registered member of prestigious organizations such as the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), Ontario Dental Association (ODA), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), Former member of American Association of Implant Dentistry (AAID), Jordanian Implant Dentistry Commission (JIDC). Additionally, he has been an active member of various overseas study groups and associations.
Having moved to Canada in 2015, Dr. Elwi has worked in multiple dental clinics in Ontario, utilizing his extensive knowledge and experience to provide exceptional dental services. He is not only dedicated to his profession but also a proud father of four boys who share his passion for sports and music.