woman undergoes lip filler training 1

What Is Lip Tenting?

Lip tenting is a fascinating technique that can help you improve the shape of your lips and create beautiful, natural-looking results. Whether you desire fuller lips, enhanced definition, or a more youthful appearance, lip tenting offers a promising solution. This innovative procedure involves the strategic placement of dissolvable sutures in the lips, which helps elevate and reshape the lip contours. 

By lifting the lips from within, lip tenting can provide a subtle yet noticeable enhancement without invasive surgery or extensive downtime. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the intricacies of lip augmentation, its benefits, and considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Definition of Lip Tenting

Lip tenting is a medical and anatomical term that describes how an individual’s lips are positioned when they smile. This positioning involves the upper lip being drawn back tightly against one’s teeth, creating a distinct ‘tented’ shape with the corners of the mouth turned upwards in a slight arc. In dentistry and orthodontics, it is often used as an indicator for malocclusion or misalignment of teeth. It can also be associated with certain dental abnormalities, such as protrusion or overbite. 

The purpose of lip augmentation definition is two-fold: firstly, to provide a medically accepted terminology for describing this particular facial expression; secondly, to give physicians and dentists an indication of any potential underlying issues that could explain why someone may have difficulty achieving normal occlusal alignment. For example, if someone has difficulty forming proper smiles due to malocclusion or other dental problems, looking at their lip tenting might help determine what needs to be addressed to correct these issues.

In addition, by understanding what lip augmentation means and its implications on oral health, individuals can become more aware of their dental hygiene practices to maintain optimal oral health. With this knowledge, people can take proactive steps towards preventing unnecessary complications down the road caused by poor dental habits or lack thereof. 


Lip tenting is characterized by the upward curling or retraction of the upper lip. While the causes of tenting are not fully understood, several potential factors may contribute to its development. Here are some causes and factors associated with tenting:

  1. Aging: Lip augmentation can be a natural part of the aging process. As we age, the facial muscles and tissues may weaken or lose elasticity, leading to changes in lip position and movement.
  2. Denture Use: Ill-fitting dentures or improper alignment of dentures can cause changes in the position of the lips, leading to tenting.
  3. Neuromuscular Conditions: Certain neuromuscular disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, can affect the muscles and nerves responsible for lip movement, potentially resulting in lip augmentation.
  4. Stroke or Facial Nerve Paralysis: Damage to the facial nerve, which regulates the muscles of facial expression, can cause various facial asymmetries, including lip augmentation. This can occur due to a stroke, Bell’s palsy, or other conditions affecting the facial nerve.
  5. Trauma or Injury: Facial trauma or injury, such as a blow to the face or a surgical procedure, can disrupt the normal functioning of the facial muscles and nerves, leading to tenting.

It’s worth noting that lip augmentation can also occur as a result of a combination of these factors or as a secondary symptom of an underlying condition. If you are experiencing this or are concerned about any changes in your lip position, it is advisable to discuss it with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate diagnosis.


Lip tenting is a type of facial tic that causes the lips to tense, twitch, or spasm involuntarily. It can be accompanied by other types of mouth twitching and cramps. The symptoms of tenting include:

  1. Uncontrollable twitching or tensing of the lips.
  2. Spasmodic movements in the area around the mouth.
  3. A feeling of tightness or pressure in the afflicted area.

These symptoms may come on suddenly and last only for a few seconds or persist for an extended period. Sometimes, people with lip augmentation report experiencing significant discomfort due to their condition. It can also cause difficulty speaking clearly due to involuntary facial muscle contractions. Additionally, it can interfere with eating and drinking since tension in the lips can make them feel too tight to open properly.

The exact cause of lip augmentation is unknown, but experts believe it could be related to stress or anxiety levels. It is more common among children than adults and often resolves without treatment. However, medical intervention may be necessary if it does not improve over time. Understanding these key signs is essential for diagnosing and treating this condition effectively.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Diagnosing tenting can be a complicated process. It should always be done with the help of a qualified medical professional. It is important to consult with a specialist or physician specializing in this condition to gain an accurate diagnosis.



Clinical Exam

A physical exam is performed by a qualified healthcare provider capable of detecting any abnormalities that may present themselves on the lips.

Lab Tests

Blood tests were conducted for further analysis of underlying conditions.

Imaging Test

X-ray images were taken to detect other possible abnormalities.

Specialized Testing

DNA testing is required for certain genetic syndromes or diseases which may be related to lip tenting symptoms.

Once diagnosed, tenting treatment options vary and depend on the individual’s specific case and needs. Generally speaking, treatments involve topical medications, invasive procedures, bracing techniques, speech therapy sessions, and even surgery in rare cases. The procedure cost for this can vary depending on factors such as the type of treatment, geographical location, and the medical professional’s expertise.

Treatment plans must be developed between patients and their physicians based on factors such as age, health history, the severity of the condition, etc. Still, they often strive to improve their quality of life while minimizing the pain and discomfort of the situation.

The focus when treating lip augmentation is usually not so much about eliminating it – since most cases are physiological – but rather finding ways to manage its effects effectively enough that individuals can perform daily activities without too much difficulty or stress. With proper care from both patient and doctor perspectives, there is hope these efforts will benefit those living with this condition.

Prevention Strategies

Lip Tenting Procedures

Preventing lip tenting can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies. To minimize occurrences of it and keep lips healthy, there are three essential steps to consider:

  • Maintain Hydration – Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep your lips moist and prevent dryness or cracking.
  • Avoid Triggers – Identifying and avoiding activities that cause tension in the mouth area helps reduce stress on the muscles around the lips.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques – Doing exercises such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation help relax facial muscles and relieve any tension from the mouth area.

By following these tips, you can take control of your health and mitigate against potential risks associated with it. Taking proactive steps towards addressing this condition will make all the difference in protecting your long-term oral health. With a dedicated approach to prevention, you can move forward confident in knowing that you have done what you can to avoid further complications.

Risks and Complications

The prevention strategies discussed in the previous section are effective ways to reduce the risks and complications associated with lip augmentation. However, there is still a chance of experiencing some side effects. Individuals need to be aware of these potential risks before deciding if it is right for them.

Below is a table that summarizes some of the most common risks and complications related to lip augmentation:




Speech issues


Difficulty eating


Tooth damage

Severe cases of lip tenting can also lead to more long-term problems such as gum recession or infection. Additionally, people who habitually use this technique may experience excessive drooling because their lips are constantly open. Therefore, those considering this treatment should weigh all possible consequences carefully before making any decisions.

Anyone engaging in this practice must take precautions to ensure they do not overexert themselves and cause any permanent damage. They should always consult a medical professional before undergoing any procedure and follow their instructions closely during recovery time. 

It is also important to note that medical professionals who perform lip-tenting procedures should undergo the necessary training before offering these services. This training ensures they have the expertise and skills to safely and effectively perform the procedure, minimizing the risk of complications and maximizing patient safety.

Final Thoughts

Lip tenting is a common condition that can be effectively managed with proper treatment and lifestyle adjustments. Individuals can ensure appropriate care by consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice. Complications can be prevented through measures like avoiding heavy lifting, maintaining oral hygiene, and managing stress levels. Understanding this and implementing the necessary strategies will empower those affected to manage their condition confidently.

At the Academy for Advanced Practice, we offer comprehensive dermal filler courses to empower healthcare professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills. Contact us today!

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