Will my Smile Go Back to Normal After Rhinoplasty?

I had a Rhinoplasty to correct a deviated septum. I am concerned and worried as my smile is not the same. It also hurts to laugh as though I have a stitch ripping my skin below my nose. Will my smile ever be normal again? It was the one thing I loved about myself and now its gone.

Doctor Answers 10

Smile will be normal after rhinoplasty

Most likely, your smile will return to normal. After a rhinoplasty, swelling tends to occur at the base of the nose, causing a distorted smile. However, if certain grafts were placed, this can sometimes alter the smile. Ask you surgeon if any grafts were used at the base of the nose.

Fort Lauderdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

This will all subside, and the smile will come back to normal.

The smile can be restricted for the first few weeks after a rhinoplasty until all swelling has subsided in the base of the nose. There does tend to be a restriction of smiling due to the swelling. This will all subside, and the smile will come back to normal.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Swelling can affect muscles around upper lip

Usually any change in smile after septoplasty or rhinoplasty is temporary and is usually due to edema around several of the muscles below the nose.  This should improve with additional time for healing.

Richard D. Gentile, MD
Youngstown Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Rhinoplasty...Will Smile Return to Normal

Hi Mchele,

If you are happy with the results of your rhinoplasty, your smile should return very soon.

Often times during septo-rhinoplasty the muscle fibers between the base of the nose and the upper lip are separated. This results in an upper lip that does not elevate properly, covering your gums and upper teeth when you smile. These muscle fibers usually grow back together within a few weeks, and your smile should return to normal at that time.

Be well and I hope that your smile returns to normal very soon.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Don't worry your smile will come back after your rhinoplasty

This is very normal and due to swelling as well as some intereference with the muscles of the upper lip.

As the swelling subsides and the muscles begin to work, you old smile will return.

This may take 3 months but the vast majority subsides by 3 weeks.


Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Smile should return to normal

Dear Michele,

You rhinoplasty / septoplasty should have very little to do with your smile muscles. As you heal the movements in your face should return to normal and you will have fewer symptoms. Some of these muscles were affected by the swelling and injections that happened around the nose.

Give it more time and things should become more normal.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Yes, you should be smiling normally soon.

Hi, it sounds like you still have a lot of swelling from your surgery if you note a change in your smile and discomfort when laughing. Some surgeons release a small muscle underneath the upper lip to correct nasal tip drooping which occurs when some people smile. You should ask your surgeon if you had this muscle release performed, as this will cause some temporary discomfort. However, this would not permanently change your smile, only the droop of the nasal tip. If you still have problems or concerns several months after surgery, you should certainly ask your surgeon about these. Best wishes.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Changes are likely temporary

 With out pictures or a timeline for your surgery, it is hard to give specific advice.  However, after any surgery, you can experience temporary changes in the balance of your muscles of animation.  It can take several weeks to months for everything to settle.  Good luck with your recovery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Abnormal Smile Post-Rhinoplasty

It seems as though you are in your early stages of recovery, during which time your face may look a little different than you are used to. A slight distortion of your facial features is in fact normal, and your smile will return to usual once your swelling has gone down. Swelling after a nose job to correct a deviated septum, as you described, is often substantial and can affect the shape of your eyes, mouth, and face. The good news is that swelling will go down. You should not be worried about sacrificing your smile to your nose job; you will again be able to smile normally with no pain as your recovery progresses. 

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Smile change after rhinoplasty/septoplasty

A smile is acomplex neuromusclar reflex caused by the contracture of multiple small facial muscles that are stretched over the facial skeleton. We all have the same musculture, but no two smiles are alike . Swelling and the temporary weakness that occurs with nasal surgery will TEMPORARILY affect a smile. However, in some smiles the nose is pulled down spoiling the smile. A well done rhinoplasty can often correct this.

If your stitches are still in it's to early to tell.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.