Do you show a lot of gum when you smile? Dentists have a name for that—it’s called a “gummy smile.” Think Miley, Gwen Stefani, and Beyonce in the early days without Photoshop®.
According to New York City Cosmetic Dentist Brian Kantor, “Gummy smile refers to an excessive display of gum tissue when smiling. The causes can range from overgrowth of the upper jaw, a short upper lip, hyperactive upper lip, as well as an overgrowth of gum tissue.” If you put your hand over your mouth when you laugh or are self conscious about smiling too broadly to avoid showing too much of your gums, BOTOX® can be an easy temporary fix for the problem of a gummy smile. A small injection of BOTOX® in the upper lip can reduce the lifting action of lip muscles, which reduces the amount of gum tissue that shows. The treatment lasts about 3-4 months.
In an off-label study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal March 2014 issue on the application of onabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX® Cosmetic, Allergan) for treatment of excessive gingival display, also known as “gummy smile,” researchers found that this injectable treatment offers an effective, minimally invasive, and safe alternative to surgery, yielding a significant improvement in smile aesthetics with high patient satisfaction. The findings are presented in the article, OnabotulinumtoxinA for the Treatment of a ‘Gummy Smile’.
According to lead author Tampa Plastic Surgeon Jessica Suber, MD, “Approximately 14% of women and 7% of men have excessive gingival exposure upon smiling.” The study showed that participants had significant improvements in their smile aesthetics, and the vast majority indicated high satisfaction levels and interest in repeat treatments.
Participants in the study had a minimum of 2mm of gingival or gum tissue exposure above the central incisors upon smiling naturally, a trait often considered aesthetically unappealing. All patients were initially classified as having a “cuspid smile,” where elevator muscles raise the upper lip—like a window shade—to expose the upper teeth and gingival scaffold, contributing to a “gummy smile.” OnabotulinumtoxinA was bilaterally injected into participants’ lip elevator muscles at three sites. Two weeks after treatment, all patients showed a significant decrease in gingival show, with an average reduction of 85% over the central incisors and 83% over the canines. In addition, all but one patient was highly satisfied with their post-treatment smile.
“The smile is such a meaningful facial expression, and it is very important for the overall aesthetics of patients,” said Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
If BOTOX® is too temporary for your tastes, Kantor says, “An alternative to correcting a gummy smile is to have a gum lift followed by porcelain veneers to get the total smile transformation.”
Photo Credit: nordstrom.com
Angelina, Scarlett, Rihanna, Jessica….they are some of the lucky girls blessed with naturally sexy, gorgeous, full lips (among other things). But if you weren’t born so fortunate, follow this cheat sheet for 5 ways to get your own killer pout and shhhh….no one has to know.
THE INJECTABLE: If your lips need more volume that you can get from just the right lip plumper, it’s Juvederm to the rescue. Hyaluronic acid gel is the perfect way to achieve soft, kissable lips, with a better shape and definition. According to David Shafer, MD, New York City plastic surgeon, “Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC, have revolutionized lip augmentation. The pre-mixed numbing medication and predictable results makes Juvederm a natural choice for lips. HA products are easily reversed or ‘melted’ with hyaluronidase for the unusual case of undesired results. There is a need for moderation and restraint as there is nothing worse than over-inflated duck lips. With the right amount of filler to add definition and replace volume, dermal fillers enhance your natural beauty and give you back a youthful, sexy, rejuvenated smile.”
THE RF LIFT: If you’re looking for a way to smooth the skin around your mouth, and improve smoker’s lines and wrinkles in less than an hour, Pellevé may be just right for you. Pellevé Wrinkle Reduction treatment uses radio frequency energy to tighten, firm, and smooth over lax tissues around the mouth, and also helps fine lines. Think of it as framing your lips. A series of three treatments are recommended, but you can see a visible improvement after the first one. The best thing about Pellevé is that it doesn’t hurt, and it is safe for all skin types.
THE SKINCARE: “It’s not just dry lips that you’ve got to worry about, but lips get thinner and paler over time and their definition gets blurred. They lose pigment and turn from a sexy, rosy red to a dull pink tone. No one wants old lady lips,” said Beverly Hills Dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky. ZO® Medical Liprebuild Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($50) restores severely dry, cracked old lady lips by increasing microcirculation for subtle plumping. It also helps gives lips a better shape and brings back the natural color. We love this daily lip rejuvenation treatment for under lipstick or gloss, and especially in cold weather or after a day at the beach.
THE EXFOLIATORS: Lips take a beating and need exfoliation, especially after winter’s dry, cold air, and sun exposure. TARTE Maracuja Lip Exfoliant ($16) gets the job done with raw sugar granules in a mixture of healing antioxidants and vitamin C. Maracuja oil leaves lips rejuvenated and smooth so lipstick glides on perfectly. The Lip Scrub™ by Sara Happ® ($24) is another beauty that wipes away dry, flaky lip skin. Comes in yummy flavors like peppermint, blood orange, vanilla bean, brown sugar, sparking pink grapefruit, sparkling peach, red velvet, creme brulee, and green apple.
THE LIP PLUMPERS: Create the illusion of full, pouty lips with a lip plumper. Most of these contain an irritant that causes swelling and tingling, such as cinnamon, mint, wintergreen, and capsicum which makes peppers hot. These ingredients boost blood flow to the lips, which makes them look fuller by making them slightly red and swollen, but only temporarily. Plumpers can come in various forms, the most common being a gloss, balm, stick, gel, tin, or pot. Laura Mercier Lip Plumper ($30) works well and is not sticky as some lip plumpers tend to be and makes your lips tingle. It comes in 7 shades, including Lychee, which is a clear white that is perfect over lipstick. Dior Addict Lip Maximizer High Volume Lip Plumper ($32) will give your lips instant shine and volume with collagen and marine-based fillers. It smells vaguely of vanilla and mint, which can be slightly addictive, and comes in a pale sheer pink tint for use over lip color or worn au naturale.
Are you tired of looking like you are in need of some solid shuteye? The skin around the eyes is usually the first place to show signs of aging such as lines and wrinkles, under-eye bags, and puffiness. The good news is that there are many ways to reverse these signs thanks to potent multi-tasking eye creams, collagen-building treatments offered by dermatologists, and the right makeup. Here, in honor of BITB’s five-year anniversary, we give you five ways to make eyes standout and look younger.
Use an Eye Cream Daily
Lines and wrinkles form from years of squinting, sun damage, and the breakdown of collagen. Eye creams can help plump delicate skin and tackle a variety of issues without being harsh. One we like is vbeauté Eye Never Nourishing Repair Eye Crème (ARV $43), containing caffeine to reduce swelling, alpine rose botanical technology to repair cell damage, and sensytens (a muscle relaxer) to instantly fill in fine lines. Lumixyl Revitaleyes Brightening Eye Cream (ARV $65) contains decapeptide-12 to treat dark circles without irritation as well as botanicals and moisturizers to fight inflammation and crepiness. Apply eye cream along the orbital bone in the morning and evening for best results.
Conceal Discoloration and Brighten
As we age, skin loses elasticity and blood vessels begin to show through, revealing darker under-eye circles. A creamy concealer camouflages darkness, illuminates the under-eye area, and makes eyes appear well rested. “Add concealer to the inner and outer corners of eyes for an instant wake-me-up effect,” says celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal. Stila All Day Concealer ($23) gives full coverage while going on smooth and stays put throughout the day. Apply Mally Beauty Lightwand Eye Brightener ($25) after eye makeup to fake eight hours of sleep. Use the creamy pencil in the inner corners of the eye to brighten, and the illuminating powder under the brow bones to make eyes appear more lifted.
Get An In-Office Treatment
While makeup and eye creams can help the appearance of aging eyes, in-office treatments will give dramatic results in little time. One of the top treatments for crow’s feet and under-eye wrinkles is Pellevé, which uses radio-frequency energy to heat up tissue deep in the skin, making it contract and produce new collagen and elastin.
“Pellevé is a great treatment for people in their 40s, 50s, and maybe 60s, who don’t want to go under the knife,” says Massachusetts plastic surgeon Christine A. Hamori. “It gives you an immediate tightening of the skin, and in response, the body makes new collagen in the dermis that is more compact. If you treat the forehead to shrink it, the brow goes up and it can be significant. And better yet, it is not painful and you can go to the work or to the gym right after you have had a Pellevé treatment because there is no downtime.”
Results are noticeable after just one treatment, but a series of three treatments spaced out a month apart may be recommended. Cost can range from $500 to $800 for one treatment around the eye area.
Pump up Lashes
“Mascara can really make your eyes look awake,” says Roncal. Choose a formula that is both volumizing and lengthening with bristles that lift and separate. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara (ARV $23) is a glossy formula that lifts and lengthens with short and long bristles. To get an eye-opening effect, Roncal suggests taking the wand and stroke it onto the lashes towards the bridge of the nose (instead of the outer corner). Just because it’s been around for practically forever, don’t forget Maybelline Great Lash, one of the great all time selling mascaras. A new one from Maybelline, Volum’ Express Falsie Big Eyes Washable Mascara (ARV $9.49), offers a dual-ended brush that pushes up top lashes and grabs the tiniest of the bottom lashes.
Accentuate with Liner
Choose a dark-colored creamy liner on lids to make the white in eyes pop. Roncal likes to draw some eyeliner on the back of her hand and with a small brush dip smudge it onto the top and bottom lash line. “This softer, smudgy line will make eyes appear larger.” Try Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner ($4.49) for soft, deep color. Or for pure drama, use Lancôme Artliner 24H Precision Point Eyeliner ($30) for a dramatic and long lasting vinyl finish.