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Botox for Gummy Smile: Does It Work?

Kristina Cadwell  
February 8, 2024  

When we smile, the upper lip moves slightly above the teeth. In a “gummy” smile, it moves higher and reveals at least four millimeters of gum tissue.

Potential causes include a hyperactive upper lip elevator muscle, a shorter upper lip, dental conditions, and medication that stimulates gum overgrowth.

Fortunately, today’s cosmetic treatments can correct this disproportion. This article explains how Botox can help eliminate a gummy smile.

How Botox can fix a gummy smile

Can Botox Fix a Gummy Smile?

Botox temporarily fixes a gummy smile by freezing the muscles between the nose and upper lip and limiting the upper lip’s range of movement. In this procedure, Botox is injected into the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi (LLSAN), which is responsible for lifting the upper lip when we smile.

Botox is a neurotoxin and powerful muscle relaxant that decreases upper lip hyperactivity to achieve a natural, non-gummy smile. When you smile after the procedure, the upper lip will reveal only your teeth. The results last up to several months.

Gummy Smile Botox Benefits

The benefits of a gummy smile Botox include:

  • Natural-looking results
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Adjustable injection dosage
  • Immediate recovery
  • Cost-effective

Note: For more information, refer to our guide to Botox pros and cons.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Gummy Smile Botox?

While women are twice as likely to have a gummy smile, anyone can benefit from this quick, non-surgical cosmetic procedure.

A good candidate for a gummy smile Botox is a healthy adult who:

  • Has no active infections, allergies, or dental conditions.
  • Is not pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Has a mild to moderate gummy smile asymmetry.

It is important, however, to have realistic expectations from the procedure. Patients with an excessive gingival display caused by lower face anatomy, teeth abnormalities, or medications should seek alternative solutions.

What to Expect During a Gummy Smile Botox Treatment?

Your Botox administrator may apply a numbing cream to the treatment area to reduce potential pain. After the cream takes effect, the provider typically injects two to five Botox units per side to temporarily paralyze the LLSAN muscle.

The procedure takes about 10 minutes. You can go about your daily activities right after the treatment.

Note: Learn how to prepare for Botox to maximize the results.

How Deep Will Botox Be Injected for a Gummy Smile?

The depth of the injection is shallow and targets only the muscles responsible for contracting the upper lip. The provider typically inserts a 13 mm long needle 6 to 7 mm into the skin and injects Botulinum toxin A to reduce the muscle’s activity.

Botox Gummy Smile Results

Before and after Botox for gummy smile treatment

The effects of Botox for a gummy smile typically appear within one week and last several months, depending on the patient.

The small amount of Botox required for the procedure reduces the longevity of Botox results, as does the constant movement of the muscle during talking, eating, and drinking. Repeat the treatment after the results wear off to keep the desired effects. Patients report that repeated Botox treatments eventually prolong the “no gummy smile” intervals.

This procedure can be combined with the Botox lip flip to create height in the upper lip body.

How Long Does Gummy Smile Botox Take to Work?

The full results are not immediately visible and may take up to 2 weeks to appear. The upper lip movement gradually decreases and ceases entirely two weeks after the treatment.

How Many Units of Botox Do I Need for a Gummy Smile?

Women usually need 2-5 units of Botox per side to fix a gummy smile. Men need slightly more because their muscles are more prominent.

Pre-treatment consultations with the medical provider are necessary to determine the exact number of units for the desired effect.

How Long Does Gummy Smile Botox Last?

The results vary from patient to patient and may last three to four months with optimal maintenance. You can extend the duration with follow-up sessions.

Gummy Smile Botox Aftercare

Follow these Botox aftercare tips to prevent bruising and swelling after the treatment:

  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before and after the treatment.
  • Skip the gym and vigorous exercise on the day of the procedure.
  • Don’t lie down or bend your neck for the first four hours.
  • Avoid heat and direct exposure to the sun.
  • Refrain from touching, pressing, or rubbing the treated area.
  • Do not apply makeup or any harsh cosmetic products.
  • Avoid taking blood-thinning medication (e.g., ibuprofen).

Can You Kiss After Gummy Smile Botox?

Botox injections are precise so it’s important to avoid manipulating the treatment area immediately after injection. It is best to avoid kissing for at least four hours after the treatment to allow the substance to settle in properly.

What Are the Complications of Gummy Smile Botox?

Downtime is minimal, and side effects are typically minor and temporary, such as the following:

Serious post-treatment complications occur rarely and include the following:

  • Numbness
  • Infection
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Allergic reaction
  • Botox resistance

A well-trained Botox provider can prevent an undesired outcome with the optimal dosage and precise puncturing techniques.

Most side effects are mild and subside within a week or two. If they become more severe, seek professional medical help immediately.

Gummy Smile Botox Price

At Vibrant Skin Bar, a gummy smile Botox treatment costs between $250 and $750, depending on your gummy smile condition and what you expect from the procedure.

Contact our expert medical team to help you achieve the smile you desire.


If you have a gummy smile that makes you self-conscious, consider getting a Botox injection in this area. You will be able to enjoy a laugh with your friends without wishing to cover your face . If you like the results, you can keep repeating the procedure to enjoy the transformation indefinitely.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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