Is Subnasal Lip Surgery Possible if One Has a Gummy Smile and a Pug Nose?

Hi. Ever since I was a teenager I've wanted a narrower space between my nose and upper lip (only a space reduction, no fillers to the lips). Is it possible to have a subnasal lip lift for me who has a gummy smile and a bit of a pug nose? Does the shape of the nose tip and nostrils have an impact on how well the scar might show or fade post operation? Thanks you in advance for your answers.

Doctor Answers 6

Options for a gummy smile

We encourage patients to always consider the least expensive and invasive options first.  For example, using Botox or Dysport to allow the upper lip to relax when smiling so as to not show so much gum tissue/teeth is a relatively easy and inexpensive approach.  Unfortunately, the results do not last very long (approx. 9 weeks) because of the strong muscle action.  

We also use a small amount of Botox or Dysport placed above the lip border to allow for less elongated, flattening of the area you are referring to.  We often will see a subtle, eversion and rolling out of the upper lip when this muscle is relaxed.  Again, the duration is approximately 9 weeks.

Using cosmetic dermal filler (ex:  Restylane, Juvederm) may also help shape the mouth as well as add details to the space between the base of the nose and upper lip to shorten the distance that you referred to.

The below link details these techniques. 

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

How to treat thin lips, gummy smile using Lip Augmentation

From your photos, IMHO both of your lips are thin but your upper lip is very thin.  That's why it disappears, revealing the gums when you smile.  You should consider Lip Augmentation, of both lips with an Alloderm or Silastic Lip Implant.  These would increase the volume of your lips allowing more lip to remain covering the gums when you smile.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

I like to use BOTOX to treat a gummy smile

One of the things that I like to use for treating a gummy smile is BOTOX. There are advanced surgeries that can be helpful as well. But, with BOTOX, not a lot of product is needed to drop the upper lip and it can often be a very subtle and adjustable way to treat a gummy smile. I would recommend this type of treatment particularly for a younger person.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Lip lift and gummy smile.

I have always considered a gummy smile;e to be a contraindication for a lip lift. However, there is an operation for  the gummy smile . If it were done first  and was successfull, then a subnasal lip lift could be performed.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

An Upper Lip Lift Can Worsen A Gummy Smile

The combination of a long upper lip and an animated gummy smile poses a challenge. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a subnasal lip lift as that can be done whether you have a gummy smile or not. But you need to be aware that it will likely make the gummy smile appear worse...possibly. At rest, your upper lip will look better having a shorter lip length. But in smile, the shorter upper lip will show more gum tissue between the bottom edge of the lower lip and the teeth. That is a trade-off you need to consider. The increased gummy smile after an upper lip lift can be treated by Botox to counter its effect.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Botox and fat transfer are two methods to reduce a gummy smile.

Botox and fat transfer are two methods to reduce a gummy smile. Sortening the upper lip would increase a gummy smile and is not recommended.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
2.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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.