Will A Lip Lift Create More Upper Tooth Show?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I would like to discuss lip aesthetics. I have noticed that in certain people, their lips in the relaxed, open mouth position, there is a nice exposure of the upper teeth. I would say that this is an attractive trait. 

I would like to posses this feature, but unfortunately, I don’t. When I relax my lips and hang them open slightly, I only feel the my bottom lip hangs and only the bottom row of my teeth show. My upper row teeth do not make an appearance because my upper lip doesn’t move when relaxed. Photos attached,

I have fairly thick lips for a male, so I am looking at getting lip reduction. My question is how to achieve that ‘upper teeth open mouth’ look? Would a lip lift help?

Is there a specific name for this look that I can Google?

A: The procedure yo are seeking does not have a specific name because it is a combination of two well known procedures to try and create the effect you are after. What you need is a combination of a sub nasal lip lift with an upper lip smile line reduction. The lip lift will raise up the central part of the upper lip. (ratio of about 4 :1, meaning for 4mm of skin removed under the nose it will move the smile line level of the upper lip 1mm) Then a horizontal reduction of the vermilion-cutaneous junction of the upper lip of about 4 to 5mms will help raise up the bottom of the upper lip. Together you should be able to develop some natural upper tooth show. The lower lip will, of course, need to be reduced by about 7 to 8mms to match better with the upper lip.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Barry L. Eppley
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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon