Many people by now are more than familiar with the application of botulinum neuromodulators like Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®. Jaw slimming and removing wrinkles are two of most popular and well-known applications of botulinum neuromodulators. But what many do not know is the use of the therapy to treat gummy smiles and downturned corners of the mouth.
“Some people get very conscious about their thick, visible gums when they smile so much so that they control their smiles or don’t even smile at all. A gummy smile can really affect their confidence and people often ask if there is anything we can do about it. The answer is yes,” says Dr. Terence Tan, Director, Halley Medical Aesthetics (Halley).
He explains that the face is balanced by muscles which constantly pull in opposite directions; much like the concept of ‘yin and yang’.
“The face can therefore be affected when there is an imbalance of these forces. In the case of gummy smiles, botulinum neuromodulators can be applied to weaken the hyperactive muscles pulling up the upper lip to decrease the amount of gum shown. This little known treatment saves the patient from social embarrassment and is a more accessible and affordable alternative to surgery,” adds Dr. Tan.
What also bothers people is the downturned corners of their mouth, which makes them look angry or sad and depressed all the time.
“This can be treated by using botulinum neuromodulators to weaken the depressor anguli oris or DAO muscle. By relaxing muscles that are pulling the corners of the mouth down, the opposing muscles naturally pulling the angles of the mouth up.” says Dr. Tan.
However, he cautions that this requires precision on the doctor’s part so be sure to talk to a well-trained doctor who has experience in this treatment.
“Botulinum neuromodulators are a staple in many medical aesthetic clinics as they have been used for cosmetic purposes for a long time. What we want to do at Halley is to help our patients unlock the value of existing tried and tested therapies and show them how else to use it to give the intended results,” concludes Dr. Tan.