A 2021 article in Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research evaluated the longevity and effectiveness of using Botox “in the management of a gummy smile”—in other words, a lip flip. This is a popular procedure at Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care, though, of course, using Botox to prevent and manage lines and wrinkles is much more common. The researchers considered a longitudinal study with a four-year follow-up to gauge whether or not the lip flip was ultimately “worth it,” though a four-year follow-up might be considered foolishly hopeful. Botox for wrinkles lasts six months on average, and a lip flip typically lasts 3 – 4 months. Botox is designed to be temporary and doesn’t last as long in mobile places like the lips.
We know the lip flip works and we know the average timeframe of these results. What is of interest is what the research showed when it comes to assessing if this minimally invasive procedure might be useful as the only treatment to reduce a gummy smile. Subjects included in the study were all willing to get the lip flip, regardless of whether a surgeon had suggested another method. In total, there were 32 subjects divided into two categories. Group one had a gummy smile less than 5mm and were treated with three units of Botox. The other group had a gummy smile larger than 5mm and they received five units of Botox. Each group had two cycles within seven months (a proper timeframe) and kept in touch with researchers for the first 14 months.
Flipping Out Over Botox
All patients tolerated the procedure well according to researchers. There were no allergic reaction or antibody formation associated with the treatment. Both groups demonstrated “excellent” results for three months after the injection. At that point, all reported their gummy smile slowly returning. The authors note that “significant changes” appeared at the five-month mark. This is in keeping with what is already known about the lip flip and while it is not surprising to providers that the lip flip gives fantastic results and requires quarterly treatments, it might come as a pleasant surprise for those looking for an alternative or complement to lip fillers.
In conclusion, the researchers “recommend use of BT [Botox] for the treatment of a gummy smile as the technique is safe, economical and easy to use.” They point out that it is not long-lasting and that it might encourage patients to opt for a surgical fix in the future. However, there are options other than surgery for this common condition. Dermal fillers and “fillers” that often fall into this category but are actually collagen induction therapy can also work. It all depends on the severity of the gumminess, the client, and the look they want to achieve.
Botox Does it All
The lip flip is just one of the many uses for Botox. Increasingly, younger and younger patients are opting for the neuromodulator in order to prevent wrinkles before they form. You can train the muscles causing furrows to be weaker and, in turn, less able to create lines. Botox is also commonly injected along the browline to create a slight arch, which can be a fantastic alternative to a minor brow lift. This area is not nearly as mobile as the lips, so results tend to last longer.
There are also many non-aesthetic uses for Botox, such as using the neuromodulator to stop excessive sweating, prevent and treat migraines, and recent studies have even shown that it can help reduce severity of anxiety in those struggling with this common mental health concern. Botox can seemingly do it all, but remember that the skill of the injector is also of utmost importance. That’s why here, Zuzana Likar personally trains every provider so you can get the best results. If you want to learn more about Botox, other injectables like dermal fillers, and the many other treatments available in our office, get in touch today. Call Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care during business hours or complete the online contact form right now.