What Can Be Done to Fix my Uneven Lips/smile? (photo)

The left side of my smile is very 'sharp' and distinct, which I love. The right side of my smile is very 'round' and low in comparison to the left side. The unsymmetrical nature of my lips/smile is driving me crazy, to the point where I will only take pictures form my left side or be forced to photoshop my photos to no end. Is there any surgery that could help?

Doctor Answers 8

You do have a solution

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You actually have two.  You can drop the high side with a minor amount of Botox.  This will need to be repeated every 4-6 months.  You can also have the lip moved internally by a lip tack procedure.  Our periodontist in Houston does this.

How Can I Fix My Asymmetrical Smile?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First, it is difficult to see precisely what your problem is based on the photos you posted. But let me address various issues that produce an asymmetrical smile.

You first need to determine if the asymmetry that is bothering you is with your lips or with your teeth and gums?

Sometimes the lip asymmetry is caused by the way the teeth supports the lip, but more commonly patients have a muscular imbalance that makes the left and right lip and facial muscular act differently.  For example, have you ever seen the Fox news anchor Greta Van Susteren?  She has asymmetrical facial muscular.  As you might recall, she had extensive plastic surgery some 6-10 years ago, and although she looks much better, they could not correct her facial asymmetry.  If your problem is primarily muscular related I'm afraid I don't know of any form of treatment to correct it.

If however, your asymmetry is related to your teeth, jawbone, and gums, then orthodontics, oral maxillofacial surgery, and cosmetic dentistry can often be used to partially or totally correct the asymmetry.

You mentioned you have a favorite side, and this is very common.  In my cosmetic dental practice we take a lot of portrait photography on the patients who we have treated with a smile makeover.  Most all of them, even though not having a considerable facial asymmetry, find that the have a favorite side for photos.  This is true also of many models and actors.  Take advantage of that side, and continue to have your photos taken showing your best side, not the asymmetrical one.

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Dentist

4 Ways To Fix An Uneven Smile.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Many times an uneven smile (and lips) are caused by an unequal amount of lip support because of misshaped, rotated, or malpositioned teeth. Teeth support the lips the way a scaffold supports a building. So here are 4 ways we can fix an uneven smile:

1. Orthodontics. Conventional fixed orthodontics (which is what you have by your photo) has become less necessary, as great results are now being accomplished with Invisalign (clear removable aligner therapy) which are less noticeable and very effective in correcting malpositioned teeth.

2. Enamelplasty. This is basically a recontouring of teeth by reshaping the enamel if one tooth is more prominent, protrussive or uneven. It should be noted that this can be performed when a conservative amount of reshaping is necessary to make a smile even.

3. Composite Bonding. Composite bonding is the application of tooth-colored resin material to lengthen, add bulk or change the shape of a tooth to provide adequate and even support to the lips and smile.

4. Porcelain Laminate Veneers. Utilizing porcelain veneers to correct imbalances in your smile remains the "gold standard" which provides maximum aesthetics and longevity. This is also the biggest financial investment that will bring years of return.

Symetry of the smile

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Symetrical ideal smile is something that everybody is striving for in dentistry. Sometimes teeth or dental related problems can affect the expression of our face and smile, but I just want to remind you that there are other factors and it is not necesary related to the teeth. Musculature of our face, tonus and range of function are directly related with nervous system. Certain neurological symptoms manifest themselves as asymetry on the face. Also, if you would look at the nature there are no identical 2 things, even our body and our face if you divide it in the midle and compare both sides you will see the diferencies. Those little differencies are natural and considered to be normal. Your smile could be affected by the fact that you are wearing braces. After your braces are removed, if the difference in your smile angles will remain a big concern to you and you don't want to accept that then I would reccomend a consultation with plastic surgeon.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

Uneven lips

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I can see what you are describing, but only because you're drawing my attention to this.  As a cosmetic dentist for 21 years, I too have a very distinct asymmetry in my lower jaw and I have never done anything to correct it.

Why ?

Because no one really notices unless I point it out.  

I always take pictures with the left side of my face forward, otherwise I look like a different person or don't look like "me".  Others notice this too.  Pictures seem to magnify my asymmetry (still, 2D).  Most people do not see these asymmetries in live motion 3D living conditions.

Embrace your "uneven" smile.  Every model on earth has a favorite angle or side for 2D still images because we all have these left-right side nuances.

Thomas Connelly, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

What Can Be Done to Fix my Uneven Lips/smile?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Tiffani and thank you for your question. You have a couple of options.One , do botox injection to one side.This will need to be done periodically every 3-5 months. Second possibility is lip tuck procedure done by a periodontist.

Good luck!

How to Fix an Uneven Lip/Smile

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the photos, however it is impossible to tell what is going on while you still have the braces on your teeth. Make sure you make your concerns known to your dentist as well as your orthodontist BEFORE they complete your orthodontic treatment. They might be able to do something with the braces.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Uneven lip line with smile solutions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I do believe that this question is better answered after all of the ortho brackets are removed. However the muscular pull of some mid face muscles like the zygomaticus minor, nasalis, and the depressor anguli otis all work together to make the oral commisure shape on each side of your mouth. The use of botox is a new way to manage these muscles so that the symmetry could be dialed into a better "match". The botox is not permanent so it will wear off in 3-6 months and the process could take some tweaking to get the doses perfect. Training for these injections are tough to master so look for a dentist, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist that had experience and can show before and after pictures to demonstrate their skill level. hope this helps


J. Willis Baker, DDS
Wichita Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.