Can A Lip Lift Create A Gummy Smile?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Is a combination of counter clockwise jaw surgery and upper lift lip better procedure for midface shortening better than a lip lift alone? Wouldn’t doing a lift lip alone create gummy smile because you are just moving mouth upwards. 

A: When it comes to shortening the midface, you need to clarify what you want to accomplish. No form of orthognathic surgery will shorten the external soft tissue midface short of correction of excess gingival show. Only a lip lift or vermilion advancement can create a visible soft tissue shortening. Such soft tissue maneuvers do not create gummy smiles.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana