TAMPA - Your smile is the first thing most people see and judge.
Many people suffer from an embarrassing condition that affects their smiles are now turning to an old treatment being used in a new way.
Kristin Howe went to Skin NV in South Tampa to get Botox injections.
“I'd love when I take pictures to not have that showing,” said Howe.
But she's not here to get rid of wrinkles or frown lines. She's here to get of what she calls a gummy smile.
“When I smile, you can just see a little of the gum above the tooth line.”
Denise Merdich, a nurse practitioner and dentist Kristine Marshall say more people embarrassed by their large visible gums are turning to Botox for the ideal Hollywood smile. In the past, surgery was the main treatment option. Dr. Marshall says, “Simple laser surgery to remove the tissue over the teeth structure or there's a removing part of the gum.”
Surgery can cost $15,000 to $20,000.
Botox costs on average roughly $300 and takes less than ten minutes to administer.
Merdich says Botox works by paralyzing the hyperactive muscles in the upper lip, reducing its elevation.
Just two injections and its done. But Merdich warns you to go to an expert who has been trained because, Merdich says, “Botox is an art and you have to know where to inject it, more importantly where not to inject it. So, just injecting the tiniest units can cause asymmetry, so one unit in the wrong place can cause a crooked smile for four months.”
Kristin says her Botox injections usually last six months - so even though it’s temporary, “It’s inexpensive and it’s something I can come in twice a year and take care of.”
Merdich says you don’t have to worry about relaxing muscles used in swallowing or eating - that she's injecting different muscles.
It's another good reason to make sure you get Botox from a professional with experience.