Subnasal Lip Lift and Gummy Smile

Q:Dr. Eppley, I am very interested in the Lip Lift procedure and was wondering if you have experience with patients who have a slightly gummy smile? I have found that some doctors say it can make a gummy smile worse and some say it won’t affect it at all.

A: A subnasal lip lift, in the face of a gummy smile, certainly has the potential to make it slightly worse. (more gum exposure) Whether it would have no impact at all on it or whether it would slightly exacerbate it depends on how the lip lifing is being done. (% of vertical skin distance being reduced) Obviously the less lip lifting being done or a vey modest change will minimize its impact on your gummy smile but its aesthetic lip lifting effect would also be very modest. More aggressive lip lifting most certainly will as there will more likely be an elevation of the upper lip smile line. The bottom line is that any effort at lip litfing incurs the risk of making the gummy smile worse, there is no assured way to every say it can not happen. The only way to eliminate that potential risk is to either not do the procedure or do a some gummy smile correction at the same time.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana