dr. J. VANDEPUTTE

Plastic Surgery

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Gummy smile: treatment by muscle weakening

A muscle weakening product is injected through a very fine needle in order to weaken certain muscles. This is an office treatment, no anaesthesia is required nor are there any activity restrictions afterwards.
When a long upper jaw or a short upper lip lead to excessive show of the gums on smiling, the muscles that lift the upper lip can be weakend slightly with botulinum toxin.
The effect becomes visible on the second or third day after the treatment and reaches its maximum after two weeks. The product weakens the muscles only around the site of injection.
The effect lasts for five to seven months. Usually, the treatment interval becomes gradually longer: although the muscles recover they lose some strength and spontaneously they are used less in normal facial expression.
This treatment may complement improvement of dental occlusion (and jaw proportions) by orthodontics and jaw surgery.