Will My Gummy Smile Surgery Relapse?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a questions about gummy smile surgery. I am a 25 year-old female. I have an upper jaw prominence as well as a gummy smile. It shows 8 mm of the gum. I went to a dentist to do a lowering lip surgery, however, he said that even if he would do it for me the gummy smile will go back once more time because of the upper jaw prominence. I end up thinking what if  I do a V-Y flap or a W technique for upper lip lengthening?. Are they going to work in my case and last for good? Or there will be a relapse because of the upper jaw prominence. I hope you get my point. Thank you.

A: When it comes to gummy smile surgery, the potential for relapse is related to the surgical technique not how much upper jaw prominence one has. The key to preventing relapse in upper lip lengthening is the vestibuloplasty portion of the procedure. Shortening the depth of the vestibule will serve to keep the upper lip from relapsing back to original position. Going to a dentist is probably not the best doctor to have treat a gummy smile that is so excessive which is probably beyond their comfort zone and experience.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana