Thin lips are an increasing concern for many older American women. Looking for larger, fuller lips, many of these women use cosmetic products to temporarily boost their appearance, but some people also turn to dermal fillers and even lip surgery to get the results they want. Curiously, some people don't realize that cosmetic dentistry can now also help them get the plump-looking lips they want. Learn why your lips change with age, and find out how cosmetic dentistry could help you get more youthful lips.
The problem with your lips
One British study found that men think a woman's lips are the most attractive part of her body, particularly when wearing red lipstick. What's more, researchers found that women with thinner lips became more appealing when they applied lipstick. As such, it's unsurprising that so many American women spend so much time and attention on their lips.
Unfortunately, your lips are likely to naturally grow thinner as you age. The plumpness in your lips comes from a special protein called collagen. Over time, the body produces less collagen, which means your lips may start to become thinner. What's more, ultraviolet light from the sun can also break down the protein, accelerating the effects of aging.
Non-dental temporary solutions
These days, women with thinner lips can choose from several options to help them improve their appearance.
Natural solutions can create temporary improvements. For example, peppermint oil can irritate the lips enough to cause mild swelling without any unwanted side effects. Similarly, capsicum oil is a natural plumping serum that can also offer a temporary solution.
Many women also turn to cosmetics to plump their lips. Certain brands of lipstick contain chemicals to do the job, while make-up experts also recommend that women use lip gloss and even lip liner to create the desired effect.
Dermal fillers are chemical solutions that a cosmetic surgeon will inject in your lips. These fillers generally use a natural chemical called hyaluronic acid to plump up the lips and create shape and structure. Unfortunately, excessive use of these fillers can create permanent side effects, creating the unattractive 'trout pout' that you can see on many Hollywood actresses' faces.
How porcelain veneers work
A veneer is a thin strip of porcelain that a cosmetic dentist fixes to the surface of your teeth. Cosmetic dentists customize porcelain veneers to perfectly fit your mouth, quickly improving the appearance of problem teeth. Dentists will often recommend porcelain veneers for people with:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Damaged or chipped teeth
- Stained teeth
Porcelain veneers are relatively quick and easy to fit, and, within a couple of visits, a cosmetic dentist can complete the necessary work. An added bonus of this type of cosmetic dentistry is that veneers can also help counter the signs of aging around your mouth.
Even though porcelain veneers are very thin, the added layer on your teeth can fundamentally change the shape of your mouth. The veneers can push out and permanently plump up your lips. What's more, porcelain veneers can also lessen the appearance of wrinkles in the corner of your mouth.
People who are suitable for porcelain veneers
Porcelain veneers work well for many dental patients, but this type of cosmetic dentistry cannot help everyone. Your cosmetic dentist should always discuss your medical and dental history with you, to look for any reasons why he or she cannot fit veneers.
Veneers aren't a good solution for people with serious dental health issues like tooth decay or periodontal disease. In these cases, the teeth and gums may continue to deteriorate after the dentist fits the veneers, and more serious problems can occur. A cosmetic dentist will also recommend against veneers if you don't have enough existing enamel on the tooth surface to cope with the porcelain layer.
Cosmetic dentists will also recommend against porcelain veneers if you suffer with bruxism. If you routinely clench and grind your teeth, you can damage the veneers. Cracked or chipped veneers could ruin your smile, and it's generally not possible to repair cracks or chips.
Porcelain veneers can drastically improve your smile, but these cosmetic additions can also help your lips look plumper. If you're keen to avoid other types of lip treatment, talk to your cosmetic dentist about the benefits of porcelain veneers.