Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
Home | About JISP | Search | Accepted articles | Online Early | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | SubmissionSubscribeLogin 
Users Online: 677  Home Print this page Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font sizeWide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layout

   Table of Contents    
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 266-269  

An innovative cosmetic technique called lip repositioning

Department of Periodontology and Implantology, Sardar Patel Post Graduate Institute of Dental and Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission27-Nov-2009
Date of Acceptance21-Aug-2010
Date of Web Publication19-Feb-2011

Correspondence Address:
Krishna Kumar Gupta
Vijay Nagar, Extension -III-A, Kanpur Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-124X.76936

Rights and Permissions

A clinical report describing the successful use of the lip repositioning technique for the reduction of excessive gingival display. A female patient aged 34 years reported with a chief complaint of gummy smile and was treated with this technique performed under local anesthesia with the main objective to reduce gummy smile by limiting the retraction of elevator muscles (e.g., zygomaticus minor, levator anguli, orbicularis oris, and levator labii superioris). The technique is fulfilled by removing a strip of mucosa from maxillary buccal vestibule and creating a partial thickness flap between mucogingival junction and upperlip musculature, and suturing the lip mucosa with mucogingival junction, resulting in a narrow vestibule and restricted muscle pull, thereby reducing gingival display.

Keywords: Gummy smile, lip repositioning, orthognathic surgery

How to cite this article:
Gupta KK, Srivastava A, Singhal R, Srivastava S. An innovative cosmetic technique called lip repositioning. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2010;14:266-9

How to cite this URL:
Gupta KK, Srivastava A, Singhal R, Srivastava S. An innovative cosmetic technique called lip repositioning. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Dec 4];14:266-9. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Several people have an illusion that they possess gummy smile or that when they smile most of the gums are visible since they have short teeth or gums have grown over their teeth. This makes them feel conscious and they are unable to give a complete smile. However, they should be aware that something can be done dentally to give them a beautiful smile. Gummy smile due to excessive gingival display always makes a normal person conscious while smiling, especially when the problem is related with female patients who are more esthetically conscious than male. Gummy smile is seen due to improper relation between gingival tissue and the tooth, with gingival tissue in excess and tooth portion in a small amount.

Gummy smile is governed by various etiological factors, for example jaw deformities, which cause excessive gingival display and require a orthognathic surgery. [1] This occurs due to excessive increased vertical height of maxillary arch. The orthognathic surgery is a complicated procedure and requires team work with hospitalization and general anesthesia, while lip repositioning is innovative and effective, less time consuming and is performed under local anesthesia.

Apart from it, delayed eruption as a cause of excessive gingival display and its treatment by esthetic crown lengthening are well documented. [2],[3] The clinician must consider the dynamic relationship between the patient's dentition, gingival, and lips while smiling. [4]

   Case Report Top

A female patient aged 34 years reported to the department of Periodontology and Implantology, Sardar Patel Post Gradute Institute of Dental and Medical Sciences, Lucknow (India), with the chief complaint of excessive display of gums while smiling. There was no significant medical or family history and patient was medically sound and fit for the surgical procedure. On clinical examination, extraorally face was found to be bilaterally symmetrical with incompetent lips. Intraorally, a moderate gingival display was seen during smiling, which extended from maxillary right first molar to maxillary left first molar [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Preoperative

Click here to view

Aim of the technique

Lip repositioning is a surgical way to correct gummy smile by limiting the retraction of the elevator smile muscles (e.g., zygomaticus minor, levator anguli, orbicularis oris, and levator labii superioris).

Surgical technique

Complete extra oral and intraoral mouth disinfection was done with 2% betadine, followed by infiltration with local anesthesia, (2% lignocaine hydrochoride with 1:80,000 epinephrine). Thereafter, the surgical area to be operated was demarcated with the help of an indelible pencil also shown in schematic diagram [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. The surgical area started at the mucogingival junction, which extended 10-12 mm superiorly in the vestibule [Figure 4]. Incisions were made in the above-mentioned surgical area and both superior and inferior partial thickness flap was raised from maxillary right first molar to maxillary left first molar. The incisions were then connected with each other in an elliptical outline. The epithelium was then removed [Figure 5] within the outline of the incision leaving the underlying connective tissue exposed [Figure 6] and [Figure 7]. The parallel incision lines were approximated with interrupted stabilization sutures at the midline [Figure 8] and [Figure 9] and other location along the borders of the incision to ensure proper alignment of the lip midline with the midline of the teeth and then a continuous interlocking suture was used to approximate both flaps. Sutures were resorbable in nature [Figure 10] and [Figure 11]. Patient was discharged with all post surgical instructions and medications for five days which included analgesic (ibuprofen 600 mg QID daily for 2 days), antibiotic (amoxicillin 500 mg TDS for five days), along with cold packs extra orally to decrease post surgical swelling.
Figure 2: Area demarcated with indelible pencil

Click here to view
Figure 3: Demarcated area

Click here to view
Figure 4: The surgical area started at the mucogingival junction, which extended 10-12 mm superiorly in the vestibule

Click here to view
Figure 5: Removing epithelium

Click here to view
Figure 6: Exposed connective tissue

Click here to view
Figure 7: Raw wound area

Click here to view
Figure 8: Midline suture

Click here to view
Figure 9: Midline suture (schematic diagram of midline suture)

Click here to view
Figure 10: Continuous interlocking sutures

Click here to view
Figure 11: Continuous suture

Click here to view

Patient was recalled after one week for a follow-up [Figure 12]. The patient after a week complained of mild pain and tension on the upper lip. It was seen later that the suture area healed in the form of a scar [[Figure 13] after 3 months], which was not apparent when the patient smiled because it was concealed in the upper lip [[Figure 14] after 6 months].
Figure 12: After one week

Click here to view
Figure 13: After 3months

Click here to view
Figure 14: Postoperative after 6 months

Click here to view

Precautions while surgery

  1. Care must be taken to avoid damage to minor salivary glands in submucosa. Some cases with rare complication reported in the literature are paresthesia [5] and transient paralysis. [6]
  2. Clinicians must look for adequate width of attached gingiva.
  3. Do not perform the procedure with patients having vertical maxillary excess, in such cases orthognathic surgeries is the solution

   Discussion Top

In most patients, the lower edge of the upperlip assumes a "gumwing" profile, which limits the amount of gingiva that is exposed when a person smiles. Patient who have a high lip line exposes a broad zone of gingival tissue and may often express concern about their "gummy smile". The form of the lips and the position of the lips during speech and smiling cannot be easily changed, but the dentist may, if necessary, modify/control the form of the teeth and interdental papillae as well as the position of the gingival margins and the incisal edges of the teeth along with repositioning of the lip. In other words, it is possible by a combination of periodontal and prosthetic treatment measures to improve dentofacial esthetics. The above case presents the successful clinical outcome of lip repositioning technique. In the present case the crown length was appropriate and did not require any crown lengthening. Some authors advocated performing myoectomies to detach the smile muscle attachment. [7] Variation in the technique was also reported. Lip repositioning was most commonly used as a plastic surgical procedure and is rarely used as a dental procedure. Another method to prevent reattachment of the of the smile muscles is to use an alloplastic or autogenous separator. [8] This spacer is placed with nasal approach between the elevator muscles of the lip and the anterior nasal spine, and thus prevents the superior displacement of the repositioned lip. Lip repositioning has also been performed in conjugation with rhinoplasty. [9] The nasal approach allows both surgical procedures to be combined; the surgical site is extended only minimally. This should be done only if rhinoplasty is to be performed and if the patient desires a remedy for excessive gingival display.

   Conclusion Top

Lip repositioning is an innovative and effective way to improve the gummy smile of a patient. This technique is an easy and less time consuming cost-effective way to give satisfactory results to the patient.

   Acknowledgment Top

The author would like to thank Dr. O. P. Chaudhay, Chairman and Dr. Praveen Mehrotra, Principal of the college, for all his kind support required for the case report and preparation of the manuscript along with all the faculty members of the Department of Periodontology for their support and contributions.

   References Top

1.Ezquerra F, Berrazueta MJ, Ruiz-Capillas A, Arregui JS. New approach to the gummy smile. Plast Reconstr Surg 1999;104:1143-50.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Lee EA. Aesthetic crown lengthening: Classification, biologic rationale, and treatment planning consideration. Pract Proced Aesthet Dent 2004;16:769-78.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Chu SJ, Karabin S, Mistry S. Short tooth syndrome: Diagnosis, etiology, and treatment management. J Calif Dent Assoc 2004;32:143-52.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Graber DA, Salama MA. The esthetic smile: Diagnosis and treatment. Periodontal 2000 1996;11:18-28.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Miskinyar SA. A new, method for correcting a gummy smile. Plast Reconstr Surg 1983;72:397-400.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Kamer F. "How do I do it": Plastic surgery. Practical suggestions on facial plastic surgery, smile surgery. Laryngoscope 1979;89:1528-32.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Litton C, Fournier P. Simple surgical correction of the gummy smile. Plast Reconstr Surg 1984;63:372-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Ellenbogen R, Swara N. The improvement of the gummy smile using the implant spacer technique. Ann Plast Surg 1984;12:16-24.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Cachay-Velasquez H. Rhinoplasty and facial expression. Ann Plast Surg 1992;28:427-33.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10], [Figure 11], [Figure 12], [Figure 13], [Figure 14]

This article has been cited by
1 Evaluation of the internal dual muscle traction approach as an adjunct to the modified surgical lip repositioning method: A randomized clinical report
Hala Helmi Hazzaa, Naglaa Mahmoud Elwakeel, Eman Mohammed Abdulhady, Lobna Mohammed Abdel-Aziz
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology. 2022; 34(1): 12
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Surgical Correction of the “Gummy Smile”
Jairo A. Bastidas
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America. 2021; 33(2): 197
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Effectiveness of Different Modalities of Lip Repositioning Surgery for Management of Patients Complaining of Excessive Gingival Display: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Shima Younespour, Siamak Yaghobee, Hoori Aslroosta, Neda Moslemi, Elham Pourheydar, Elaha Somaya Ghafary, Romeo Patini
BioMed Research International. 2021; 2021: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Comparative efficacy of Botox and surgical lip repositioning in the correction of gummy smile
M.O. Makkeiah, M. Harfoush, A. Makkiah, L. Saneeva, N. Tuturov, I. Katbeh
Stomatologiya. 2021; 100(3): 47
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Facial profile changes due to bone cement graft to manage the hyperactive muscles of the gingival smile
Érica Miranda de Torres, José Valladares-Neto, Karina de Oliveira Bernades, Luis Fernando Naldi, Hianne Miranda de Torres, Alexandre Leite Carvalho, Carlos Estrela
Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics. 2020; 25(2): 44
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Crown Lengthening as Treatment for Altered Passive Eruption: Review and Case Report
Mateus Rodrigues Tonetto, Shelon Cristina Souza Pinto, Matheus Coelho Bandeca, Suellen Nogueira Linares Lima, Cristian Higashi, Elize Bonafé, Gibson Luiz Pilatti, Fábio André Santos
World Journal of Dentistry. 2015; 6(3): 178
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Does the Lip Repositioning Surgery Improve the Long-term Smile Outcome and Dental Esthetic in Patients with Excessive Gingival Display? A review of Current Literature
Maria Fernanda S. Peres,Ricardo Peres,Ed Gilson B. Lopes,Sandra P. Ramos,Monica G. Correa,Fernanda V. Ribeiro,Eros Chaves
Clinical Advances in Periodontics. 2014; : 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Management of patients with excessive gingival display for maxillary complete arch fixed implant-supported prostheses
Avinash S. Bidra,John R. Agar,Stephen M. Parel
The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. 2012; 108(5): 324
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded1149    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal