Have you ever had somebody walk up to you and say, “Why are you angry?”

Huh? you say. Naturally, you reach deep into your purse, crack open your compact, and come to a sudden realization. You’ve got droopy mouth corners. Don’t be too surprised or upset. Lots of people get them. It’s just one of the many unwanted conditions that can occur with aging or overuse of the muscles of the mouth. The problem is it can have an impact on the outward expression of our true feelings.

Droopy mouth corners also go by the identifier “inverted smile.” The forward drooping or sagging skin near the mouth can make your smile look more like a frown or like a human “marionette.” The good news is that getting rid of droopy mouth corners is fairly simple and straightforward, thanks to plastic surgery.

Periodic use of injectables like Botox, Perlane, Juvederm, and Restylane are all effective at filling in or filling out sagging mouth corners. Just a few drops of Botox injected into the Depressor Anguli Oris muscle pulls back on the mouth corners to get rid of that artificial, unhappy, scowling look. Botox’s ability to “freeze” away facial wrinkles is well known and one option to consider for getting rid of sagging mouth corners. Perlane’s effects can be expected to last a year or longer, while Botox injections must be repeated every three to five months to maintain the result. One risk associated with the use of injectables is that too much may cause smile asymmetry or functional issues involving the mouth.

Your plastic surgeon may suggest “marionette fat injections” as a natural filler for drooping mouth corners, or a surgical procedure known as a corner of mouth lift. The surgery involves the removal of a small triangle of skin just about the mouth corner, allowing the commissure to be repositioned upward. There is a slight risk, however, of a small outward scar on the corners of the mouth. A jowl line lift – another cosmetic surgical procedure – pulls back the sagging mouth corner tissues and tightens them to restore your normal smile. So the next time someone stops to comment on your appearance, it will be to ask why you’re smiling.

Don’t forget to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon before deciding which invasive or non-invasive procedure is right for you. Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation.