Morristown, NJ location is opening soon!

Lip Fillers and Your Smile: The Good and the Bad

A picture of Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni

Book Now

Lips have always been a popular area of interest, for both men and women. While some of us may remember the obsession with Angelina Jolie and her plump, luscious lips, the younger generation is now more concerned with recreating the perfect Kylie Jenner lips. And lip fillers are a popular way to alter one’s lips to their preference.

But while we concern ourselves with the appearance of our lips, we often fail to consider the effect lip fillers will have on our smiles.

So can lip fillers affect the smile? Yes, in both good and bad ways. In this article, we will go into understanding lip fillers, all the ways they can affect the smile, and how you can protect your lips and smile moving forward.

Understanding Lip Fillers

The lip filler procedure involves the injection of hyaluronic acid or collagen into a patient’s lips, with the goal of increasing the volume of the lips.

Both hyaluronic acid and collagen are natural substances that are normally found in the body, and the type of substance in your lip filler changes the way it works: hyaluronic acid creates a natural fullness by filling the lips with water, while collagen fills the lips in on its own. It is never recommended to inject silicone in the lips, as this can often fail and lead to strange results.

Lip Filler Basics

Who Can Get It

Almost anyone who wants fuller lips is a good candidate for lip fillers. As the procedure is safe, quick, and all-natural, there are very few to no reasons that would prohibit a person from getting it.

Good candidates for lip fillers should do their research and understand their options. Some of the popular options include:

  • Juvederm Ultra XC: For those looking for plumper, plusher lips
  • Juvederm Volbella XC: For those looking for fewer wrinkles in the mouth area
  • Restylane Silk: For those looking for more subtle changes
  • Restylane: For those looking for a basic volumizing of the lips

Good candidates should also work on their expectations, and discuss with their injector what they will look like after the procedure.

What’s the Procedure

The lip filler procedure is done in four steps:

  • Assessment: The patient is first given a facial assessment, in which the injector or nurse will assess the face. In some cases, they will photograph the lips and map the injection sites on the lips.
  • Cleaning: The patient is asked to lie or sit down as the nurse or injector cleans the injection sites on the lips, killing any bacteria to avoid infection. An anesthetic ointment can be used on the lips to help numb the pain of the injection.
  • Injection: The injections themselves are quick and simple. After each injection, the lips will be massaged, allowing the lip filler to spread around the area. The process should take no longer than 15 minutes.
  • Recovery: After the injections, the lips are massaged and the patient may be offered a cold pack to minimize swelling on the lips.
lip injection

Possible Side Effects

A vast majority of lip filler patients experience no complications or problems, but like all cosmetic and medical procedures, there are some possible side effects involved. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising, swelling lasting up to 10 days
  • Tenderness, redness
  • Lip asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Lip stiffening

The most important factor in determining the success rate of a lip filler procedure is the experience and skill of the injector. To ensure the minimum possible risk for complications, make sure to have your lip filler done by professionals you can trust.


Three factors determine the cost of a lip filler procedure: the experience of the doctor, the area of the procedure, and the types of fillers or amount of fillers used. Lip filler costs can range anywhere from $500 to $2000.

Lip Fillers: Myth VS Fact

Lip fillers are an increasingly common procedure, and with more people experimenting with various lip fillers, there are many rumors and myths regarding their effects on your lips and smile that actually aren’t true.

You are not allowed to smile for a few days after a lip filler.Facial expressions such as smiling, laughing, or frowning should have zero impact on your lip filler. It is actually better for you to smile and gently massage your lips, to help spread the product and produce a more natural end-result.
If your smile looks bad after a lip filler, you have to live with it.This depends on your type of lip filler. Some lip fillers like calcium hydroxylapatite are typically not recommended as they have been known to have a breakdown time of 1-2 years. However, the more popular hyaluronic acid type of lip filler can be forcefully dissolved with another substance that melts it, known as a hyaluronidase. After the swelling, your lips and smile will look exactly the way they once did.
Lip fillers make people with round faces look even fatter.While this does sound like it makes sense, it simply isn’t the case. The shape of your lips and your smile has little to do with the shape of your face, and by creating more distinctive lips, you can give round faces more depth and texture.
People can’t smile naturally when they have lip fillers.There is a huge fear of no longer looking “natural” whenever first-timers get any cosmetic work done. But a major factor that leads to unnatural-looking lips or smiles is the expertise of the injector. Find an injector or a doctor you can trust to apply your lip filler, and you can rest assured that your lips will still look natural.
Lip injections can only help you if you have thin lips.While volume is the most significant change that lip fillers can bring about, there are also many other ways lip fillers can change your lips and give you a better smile. They help to fix asymmetrical smiles, cracked lips, disproportionate lips, undefined Cupid’s bows, and more.

Lip Fillers and Your Smile: Good VS Bad

For all your concerns regarding lip fillers and your smile, including all the good and the bad that can occur.

Weird Smiles

The Good: Yes, lip fillers will change the shape of your smile. For a truly significant change to your smile, ask your doctor to inject the lip filler into the parentheses lines that can be found on either side of the mouth. This can help to fill in thinner smiles, and reduce the lines around the mouth.

The Bad: It is crucial that you choose an injector or doctor with experience with lip fillers, as expertise can be the difference between having a good smile or a weird smile after a lip injection. Some patients experience upper lips that look too thick, because too much product was used in the wrong place.

Gummy Smiles

The Good: Some patients ask if lip injections can help with gummy smiles, or smiles in which a notable part of the gum in the upper jaw is revealed. Thankfully, lip fillers can definitely help with gummy smile correction. This is done by increasing volume in the upper lip, to help block the sight of the gummy smile.

The Bad: Be sure that your doctor balances your upper lip with your lower lip. If lip fillers are only injected into the upper lip, this will typically leave the lower lip disproportional to the rest of the smile.

Excess Fillers

The Good: The desire for luscious, juicy lips makes some patients ask for excess fillers during their treatment, in which more lip filler is injected into the lip than recommended by most injectors or doctors. There is no major side effect or risk that comes along with having excess lip filler in your lips, meaning patients are free to try this option if they wish.

The Bad: There is the problem with lips becoming too big, that it negatively affects your smile. Some patients with excess fillers in their lips experience teeth disappearance, in which the lips have become so thick that the teeth are completely hidden even while they smile.

If you want to experiment with excess fillers, try not to have it all injected in a single session, so you can see the effect on your smile.

Thin Smiles

The Good: For patients who are unhappy with their thin smiles, a lip filler injection is a great option to consider. When done successfully, patients with even the thinnest smiles can walk away with fuller, thicker smiles, on both their upper and lower lips.

The Bad: Unfortunately, lip filler injection won’t work for every individual with a thin smile. This is because of the way a person’s smile is thin: some of us have thin smiles because our lips are simply thin and lack volume; others have thin smiles because they naturally pull their upper lip inward when they smile. For individuals who pull or bend their upper lip into their mouth during smiles, lip fillers cannot help.

Joker Smile

The Good: Patients who experience strange side effects such as having a weird smile or a “Joker” smile after lip injections can rest assured knowing that this is a common side effect, as a result of swelling after the procedure. Wait up to a week before worrying about your weird smile.

The Bad: If a week has passed and you still experience a swollen “Joker” smile, you may have been injected with too much product. Try massaging the area to breakdown the product naturally, or talk to your doctor or injector about dissolving the product.

Protect Your Lips and Your Smile: 5 Tips Before Your Lip Filler Procedure

woman smiling while rain is falling on her face
  1. Pick a clinic or doctor you can trust. – Your choice of the injector is the most important factor in the success of your lip filler procedure. The experience of the injector can make or break your lip filler experience. Read reviews, ask for before and after pictures, and ask all the necessary questions to see if they understand the ins and outs of the lip filler procedure.
  2. Choose the filler you want. – These days, the lip filler market is more crowded than ever. Think of the kind of lips you want and find the product that provides that look. Restylane is great for the natural-but-plump look, and Juvéderm can help patients achieve the pouty look.
  3. Ask yourself: “How much?” – How much lip filler do you need? Do you simply want to give your lips a bit of a boost, or are you trying to achieve the true Kylie Jenner look?
  4. Prepare properly. There are a number of things you can do before your procedure to maximize your success. For a few days before the procedure, avoid all anti-inflammatory medications and multivitamins, as these can thin the blood, making the treated site more susceptible to bruising.
  5. Don’t do it all at once. – It can be tempting to try to get as much out of a single appointment as possible, but lip fillers should never be treated as a one-off case. We all react differently to lip fillers, and you would be better off starting with a smaller dose, and topping it off later if you think you want more.

Ethos Spa: The Lip Filler Home for Thousands

Choosing the right clinic is the first step towards loving your new lips, and at Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness, thousands in the New Jersey area have made the right choice. Our doctors and nurses have helped thousands of patients achieve the lips of their dreams, with many returning for maintenance, top-ups, and to experiment with different fillers.

We understand the nuances of the lips and can help you with all your lip and smile-related concerns. For more information on lip fillers or to schedule your consultation, contact us today at Ethos Spa.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

Read More