Smile Confidently Again: How Botox Treats Gummy Smiles

At Pura Vida Med Spa, located in Fulton, Maryland, and the Baltimore area, we specialize in a range of cosmetic treatments for various aesthetic concerns. One common issue we treat is a “gummy smile,” medically known as excessive gingival display. A game-changing solution we offer is FDA-approved Botox or botulinum toxin treatment.

What is a Gummy Smile?

A gummy smile occurs when excessive gum tissue is exposed while smiling. The condition can result from numerous factors, including a genetic predisposition, hyperactive muscles of the upper lip, gum tissue overgrowth, or irregular tooth eruption. A gummy smile can affect self-confidence and overall facial aesthetics, leading many to seek effective smile treatments.

How Can Botox Help With a Gummy Smile?

Botox, a neurotoxin, has made a mark in the world of cosmetic procedures, offering a simpler, less invasive approach for treating gummy smiles compared to surgical methods. Moreover, Botox has proven to be effective in treating other problem areas like crow’s feet, frown lines, bunny lines, and excessive sweating, and even health conditions such as migraines.

Botox works by causing temporary paralysis in the muscles, interrupting nerve signals. When applied to the overactive upper lip muscles contributing to a gummy smile, Botox can reduce the lip’s elevation while smiling, leading to a more balanced smile with less gum exposure.

Botox Treatment Procedure

The procedure involves administering a small dose of the neurotoxin, often with the use of a topical numbing cream for comfort, between the nose and the upper lip. Here, it targets the muscles responsible for lip elevation, helping to relax the upper lip and prevent excessive contraction or elevation during a smile.

Botox Treatment Longevity

The effects of Botox treatments for gummy smiles typically last between 4 to 6 months, with follow-up injections needed to maintain the desired aesthetic. The amount of Botox required varies based on individual needs.

Advantages of Botox for Gummy Smile Correction

Botox injections offer multiple benefits for correcting gummy smiles:

  • Natural-Looking Results: Botox treatment can subtly improve a gummy smile by focusing on the specific muscles causing excessive lip elevation. It reduces gum visibility effectively, enhancing the overall facial aesthetics without drastic changes.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedure: Botox, with its minimal downtime, is a preferred alternative to surgeries like lip repositioning or orthognathic surgery.
  • Temporary and Reversible Effects: The effects of Botox are temporary and reversible, allowing individuals to try the treatment without the commitment of a permanent alteration.
  • Boosted Confidence and Aesthetics: By reducing excessive gum display, Botox can significantly enhance a person’s confidence and overall aesthetics.
  • Decreased Requirement for Surgical Intervention: Botox treatment can reduce the necessity for more invasive surgeries, like gingivectomy or lip repositioning, saving the patient time, money, and discomfort.

Potential Risks and Side Effects of Botox Injections

While Botox is generally safe and effective for gummy smiles, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects:

Common Side Effects

Temporary swelling, redness, or bruising at the injection site are among the common side effects of Botox. These usually disappear on their own within a few days.

Serious Complications

Serious complications like allergic reactions, infection, or unintentional muscle paralysis can occur, although they are rare. Choosing a qualified and experienced provider greatly minimizes these risks.


Certain medical conditions such as neuromuscular disorders, as well as pregnancy or breastfeeding, may make Botox an unsuitable option. Always consult with a healthcare professional to ensure Botox is the right treatment for your specific needs.

Alternative Treatments for Gummy Smiles

For those who may not be ideal candidates for Botox or prefer a different approach, a range of alternative dental treatments are available. It is important you consult with a qualified specialist for the alternative dental treatments below. At Pura Vida Med Spa, we only provide aesthetic solutions to a gummy smile.

  • Dermal Fillers: Fillers, like Dysport, can be used to fill areas around the mouth, providing additional support to the upper lip and potentially reducing the appearance of a gummy smile.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Braces or clear aligners can address issues such as tooth and jaw misalignment, a potential cause of a gummy smile.
  • Gingivectomy or Crown Lengthening: These surgical procedures can remove excess gum tissue, exposing more of the tooth surface, and thereby improving the aesthetic of a gummy smile.
  • Lip Repositioning Surgery: This surgical procedure can offer a more permanent solution to gummy smiles caused by hyperactive lip muscles.
  • Dental Crowns: A dental crown can improve the tooth-to-gum ratio, further enhancing the aesthetic of a gummy smile.

Choosing the Right Botox Provider for Gummy Smile Treatment

Choosing a qualified injector is crucial to achieving the best results and minimizing potential risks. At Pura Vida, our providers have extensive experience in facial aesthetics and Botox injections for smile treatment.

Book A Consultation at Our Fulton, MD Med Spa

At Pura Vida Med Spa in Fulton, MD, we offer personalized consultations that allow you to express your concerns, share your expectations, and discuss the results you desire. Our healthcare professionals will thoroughly examine your gummy smile to see if Botox is the right solution for you.


Botox treatment for a gummy smile is a minimally invasive and effective option that provides natural-looking results with minimal side effects and downtime. However, choosing a qualified and experienced provider is crucial to ensure optimal outcomes and minimize potential risks. For those who may not be suitable candidates for Botox or prefer alternative treatments, a range of other options is available. 

Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment for your unique situation.


What is Botox treatment for a gummy smile?

Botox treatment for a gummy smile involves injecting a small dose of the neurotoxin into specific muscles responsible for the elevation of the upper lip. The aim is to relax these muscles, reducing their movement and thus lessening the display of gum tissue when smiling.

How does Botox work to reduce a gummy smile?

Botox, or Botulinum toxin, functions by temporarily paralyzing targeted muscles. For gummy smiles, Botox is injected into the upper lip muscles causing excessive elevation when smiling. By restricting their movement, the lip is lowered, resulting in less gum visibility when smiling.

Is Botox treatment for gummy smiles a long-term solution?

The effects of Botox for gummy smiles typically last between 4 to 6 months. Therefore, regular maintenance injections may be necessary to preserve the desired aesthetic results.

Are there any risks associated with Botox treatment for gummy smiles?

While Botox is generally safe and effective, potential side effects may include temporary swelling, redness, or bruising at the injection site. Rarely, more serious complications like allergic reactions or unintentional muscle paralysis can occur. Choosing a qualified and experienced provider significantly reduces these risks.

Are there any alternatives to Botox for treating gummy smiles?

Yes, there are several alternatives to Botox for treating gummy smiles. These can include orthodontic treatments, surgical procedures like gingivectomy or lip repositioning surgery, and dermal fillers. A qualified healthcare professional can help determine the most appropriate treatment based on your individual case.

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