The answer to this is yes, absolutely yes. Let’s explain the anatomy. The corner of the mouth is acted upon by various muscles in much the same way that our biceps and triceps act on our elbow. Some of the muscles depress the corner of the mouth and some elevate the corner of the mouth. As a general rule, when the corner of the mouth is depressed, the depressors are outworking the elevators. That’s not a good thing. This makes people look old, it makes them look angry, it makes them look tired. We want to get rid of that. If you’re interested in getting Botulinum Toxin to lift the corners of your mouth, here’s a guide.
Where do you inject Botulinum Toxin to help the droopy corners of my mouth?
So what do we do? If we knock out the depressors or partially knock them out, the elevators win. So let’s look at the muscles. There’s a muscle called the DAO, the depressor anguli oris, that is a triangular muscle and attaches to the corner of the mouth and it pulls it down. There are several muscles, most notably the LAO, the levator anguli oris, that attaches at the corner of the mouth and lifts it up. If you knock out the depressor muscle, you will get relative elevation to the corner of the mouth.
Now, here’s the important thing. The muscle is triangular. It widens out in a triangle as we go down from the corner of the mouth toward the jawline. I want to get the back part of the muscle so that we knock out a little bit of the muscle, so the elevators preponderate. They win out. If we do that, we’ll get elevation. If we inject the forward or anterior part of the DAO, we may get some of the DLI, the depressor labii inferioris, and that will stop us from normally pulling down the lip. And that makes our smile asymmetric, which none of us want. So, if we inject the posterior aspect of the DAO, we will not get the DLI. So that’s a really important thing for all of your injectors to know.
How much does Botulinum Toxin cost to lift the corners of my mouth?
As a general rule, it doesn’t take much botulinum toxin to do this, and if your practitioner charges by the unit as we do in the forehead area, it’s a pretty inexpensive injection. We only use four to five units per side. So, it’s 8-10 units to elevate the corners of the mouth. Some injectors will say that because they’re doing a region, they’re going to charge more. They’re not going to charge by the unit, because they don’t make a whole lot of money on a little tiny injection like this of only eight to 10 units.
As a general rule, if you charged by the unit, this injection can be done for $130 to $170, in that range.
What is recovery like after getting Botulinum Toxin in the corners of my mouth?
As with all botulinum toxin, there is virtually no recovery time. You can go to work immediately afterwards. The swelling is zero to very, very minimal. You can go to the gym, as far as I’m concerned. You can do activity of any type. There is no downtime. If you get fillers additionally, or if you get a procedure additional to the botulinum toxin, that may give you some downtime. But one of the beauties of botulinum toxin in the corner of the mouth is that there is no downtime and it’s relatively inexpensive.
About Dr. Jonathan Sykes
Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.
He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at [email protected].