Lip Repositioning for correction of Gummy Smile

What Is a Gummy Smile?

A beautiful smile is priceless. When your lips sweep upward and your sparkling eyes crinkle, it is a beautiful thing. It signals joy and human connection.

Unfortunately some patients are dissatisfied with theirs because of the amount of gum on show when they smile or laugh. A ‘’Gummy Smile’’ is when an individual shows a large amount of gum tissue when smiling, revealing an uneven tooth to gum ratio.  Although this does not have any functional repercussions it does impact patient’s confidence and self-esteem with a gummy smile being the biggest insecurity of about 15-20% of young adults.

A gummy smile can happen when your upper lip is on the shorter side, and if your lips are hypermobile — which means they move dramatically when you smile — they might expose more of your gumline.

How is a Lip Repositioning Procedure Performed?

Lip repositioning surgery, also known or ‘reverse vestibuloplasty’’, is a permanent solution to the Gummy Smile. Many patients seek this surgery after having a series of Botox injection treatments that only last for  a few months.

Before & After Gallery

The procedure begins with a local anaesthetic injected into the gums to numb the area. Next, two minor incisions are made under the lip just below where your gums meet your upper lip and a small band of gum tissue is removed. A strip of the muscles that elevate the lip is excised so as to prevent the recurrence of the Gummy Smile. This in turn will modify the level your lip rises to when smiling or laughing based on your proportion. Lastly, your lip will be sutured to achieve the final position.

What’s considered a gummy smile?

No exact definition exists for a gummy smile. In reality, it largely rests in the eye of the beholder. Your perception of your gumline could be affected by:

  • the height and shape of your teeth
  • the way your lips move when you smile
  • the angle of your jaw compared with the rest of your face

Generally speaking, 3 to 4 millimeters of exposed gumline is considered to be disproportionate, resulting in a gummy smile.

Classifications of Gumline Exposure:
  • 1-2mm gingival display: mild/normal (usually no action needed)
  • 3-6mm gingival display: moderate
  • 7+mm gingival display: severe
How Long Does Lip Repositioning Surgery Take?

A lip repositioning procedure is a simple and predictable surgical technique done under local anesthetic. The procedure usually takes about 45 minutes to complete, but at our clinic, we usually schedule about an hour and half to allow plenty of time to make the patient comfortable before starting and plenty of time to discuss post-op instructions at the end of the procedure.

What is Recovery Like?

Recovery for lip repositioning surgery is generally 3 to 4 days of rest. During that time, there is typically moderate pain and swelling, which is manageable with pain medications and antibiotics. Patients generally can go back to work or school after 4 days, but will need to avoid strenuous exercise or activity for about 2 weeks.

How Long does Lip Repositioning Surgery Last & Is Lip Lowering Permanent?

After the initial 4 weeks of healing, there will be some minor settling over the first 6 months in which the lip may rise about an additional millimeter when smiling. Generally, after 6 months the results of lip repositioning surgery last permanently. According to a 2019 scientific review, patients who had this procedure were still happy with the results 2 years after the surgery.

Lip Repositioning Details

–  Procedure Price: £4,000 – All inclusive price
–  Follow-up: 3 follow up appointments up to 1 year.
–  Duration: 75 mins.
–  Anaesthetic: Local Anaesthetic.
–  Length of stay: Outpatient procedure (Home the same day).
–  Sutures: Absorbable sutures. Fall out on their own
–  Mouth wash after every meal for the first week
–  Recovery: Usually one week for most of the swelling to go down.