Lips and Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the alignment of teeth to improve aesthetics of smile as well as the bite of an individual. But, teeth are not playing a solo role in the movie called ‘beautiful smile’. The lips, cheeks, gums, tongue are all supporting actors without whom the smile cannot be improved. Any movement of the teeth causes a direct effect on one or more soft tissues. That is where our article originates.

Many types of teeth malalignment lead to changes in lip length, form, and appearance:

  • In conditions where the teeth are forwardly placed, the lips tend to be incompetent, either in rest or both in rest and in function. This means that when your teeth are forwardly placed as compared to your facial profile, the lips tend to fall short. This leads failure of the lips to come together. This can occur when there is no active lip movement and during activities like talking or eating. When orthodontic treatment is done to bring the forwardly placed teeth into alignment, the lips also become competent and close at rest and during activities. In severe conditions, the individuals also develop a mouth breathing habit because their mouth is almost always open.

  • In cases where the lower jaw is forwardly placed in comparison to the upper jaw, the lower lip falls short and leads to a similar condition as mentioned above. This also gives a poor aesthetic look to the individual.
  • When there is an excessive overlap of the upper teeth over the lower teeth, the upper lip tends to jut out in comparison to the lower lip and the cheeks have a sunken appearance. When the teeth are aligned with braces or aligners, the lips go back to being normal and follow the smile line.

These are few commonly seen conditions where the lips are affected by the placement of teeth. In some people, however, the lip length is short even when the malalignment is not so severe. In such cases, there is excessive gum show leading to a gummy smile. These kinds of clinical cases are handled by orthodontics and aesthetic dentistry together to give a beautiful smile to the patient.

You should always remember; the soft tissues always follow the outline of the hard tissues in the oral cavity. In cases where there is no defect in the lips due to malalignment of teeth, there is still a significant change seen in the appearance of the lips, cheeks and the smile altogether after completion of 32 watts clear aligner treatment.

In case of any queries, visit your dentist for a consultation today.

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