I have had braces, and I am happy with my teeth, but my smile is "stronger" on one side of my face. (It has always been like this) You can see my gums on the left side but not the right. I am very self-conscious and I really, really hate it. How can I get it fixed? What would the procedure be?
My Smile is Crooked, How Can I Get It Fixed? (photo)
Doctor Answers 6
How Can I Fix My Crooked Smile?
Unfortunately, your asymmetrical smile is not the result of your orthodontics or teeth at all. It is the result of having asymmetrical facial muscles. A famous TV anchor woman, Greta Van Sustern, has the same problem.
You would be best served by consulting with a plastic surgeon. Two treatments might be considered. One is to use botox to keep the muscles on the good side from pulling your lip up so much. The other is to see if the plastic surgeon can reposition the "smile muscles" to different sites so that your right side raises up more. There is little downside risk to trying the botox procedure, because botox is temporary and always wears off and repeated injections necessary. However, the downside risk of trying to reposition any of the facial muscles is that things could even look worse. Thus, please consult well with several plastic surgeons and do not expect a perfect result.
My Smile is Crooked, How Can I Get It Fixed?
David, thank you for your question. You do have options. Consider Botox injections on the left side of the upper lip. You will need to do those periodicaaly though. Another option is to see plastic surgeon and consider lip muscle reattachment of the left side. Recently also a third option became available. Some periodontists and general dentist, who use lasers and have experience, can help you to even out that smile.
It would be helpful to see your chin and pupils. This may be a maxillary cant (slanted upper jaw) or just a muscle issue with your lip. I can not tell with this limited image.
If your upper jaw is slanted, you should see an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon.
If it's just your lip musculature, I would see a facial plastics guy that is a botox guru and do some experimenting with botox injections.
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Could be an easy fix
I'd recommend doing a SMALL amount of botox at the Yonsei point (like 1 unit only to start).
How to fix a crooked smile
From your photo, it appears that your upper lip is not lifting symmetrically. The problem does not appear to be your teeth or your gums. Perhaps working with a speech therapist could help your musculature.
Correcting a crooked smile
Your teeth from the photo look very nice. They appear straight just like you say and the midline appears to be correct. If this is your accurate smile it appears that the muscles on the left side of your face have a greater"pull" effect than the right side. There are a few muscles along the side of the nose that attach in the upper lip that perform this pull. Most likely they are the levator labii superioris, zygomaticus and levator labii superioris alaque nasi. The easiest way to even out your smile is with Botox or Dysport injections to relax these muscles. It is non invasive and lasts for about 3 months, so if you do not like the results it will return to normal. MAke sure you seek the advice and treatment from a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who performs facial cosmetic procedures. They only specialize in facial anatomy, not full body cosmetics. I have performed this on several patients with very good results