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What Makes a Beautiful Smile: the Lips and Gums

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

In today’s third article about modern Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Warren Antonoff explores how the lips and gums influence the perceptions of what makes a beautiful smile.

Lips and gums play a fundamental role in shaping a beautiful smile. If you have straight teeth but you can’t see them, what’s the point? On the other hand, too much gum might bring undesirable attention!

Let’s look at the upper lips first. Ideally, when a patient smiles the upper lips masks the upper border of the teeth. If the patient shows too much gum, there could be a few possible causes:

  • Increased upper lip movement
  • Enlarged upper jaw
  • Teeth are not fully erupted

In most instances it’s a combination of factors involved. Depending on the cause(s), treatment such as soft tissue laser surgery, gum lift, Invisalign, upper jaw surgery, or even Botox, are treatments available to correct those issues.

The gums and lips "package" the teeth and gives your smile its personality!
The gums and lips “package” the teeth to create the smile that’s distinctly you!

On the other hand, The lower lip should ideally cradle the edges of the teeth in an arc to compliment the upper lip. Showing some lower teeth is also considered aesthetically acceptable. Typically, the lower lip doesn’t move as much compared to the top lip, rather it’s been stretched by the surrounding musculature in order to show more teeth. The importance of the lower lips is taken into consideration when the patient elects to correct her smile through procedures such as porcelain veneers. It is then up to the dentist to design the top teeth so that the edges are finished nicely.

Smile 3 Jenifer Garner
Celebrities, such as Jennifer Garner, have transformed their smiles through modern Cosmetic Dentistry treatments.

Here’s a recent example of our patient, “Ms Genevive”, who decided to undergo gum surgery to attain her ideal smile…

genevive
Before (top left), during gum surgery (bottom left), and After (right)  shows how this treatment can help to improve the visual proportions of the teeth and gums to offer a more aesthetically pleasing result.


Here’s a photo of the gums about a week after surgery. You can see it’s healing quickly.

Genevive will be completing her treatment with Invisalign teeth straightening to get the perfect look. For more information, you might be interested in reading our previous article titled De-mystifying Teeth Straightening Treatments.

On the other hand, The lower lip should ideally cradle the edges of the teeth in an arc to compliment the upper lip. Showing some lower teeth is also considered aesthetically acceptable.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions at all.

Until next time, happy smiling!

Dr. Warren Antonoff and all the staff at Lifestyle Smiles

At Lifestyle Smiles, we see a spectrum of patients at the clinic – some prefer an “understated, natural” look while others want a bright “Hollywood Smile”. Either way, as dental professionals it is our role to help you feel great about yourself, and over the decades we’ve been fortunate to help our patients achieve the look they desire using proven, safe and effective treatments.