What causes drooping mouth corners?
Drooping mouth corners can give the face a sad or angry look, even if that’s not how you feel on the inside. A drooping mouth is often the result of marionette lines, which are the vertical creases that run from the corners of the mouth towards the chin. They may first appear as fine lines but can later develop into deeper creases that mimic the look of a puppet’s mouth and even pull downwards further to accentuate jowls. So, what exactly causes drooping mouth corners and what are the best ways to treat them non-surgically? Read on for everything you need to know.
The causes of drooping mouth corners
The underlying causes are usually multifactorial and include:
- Gravitational changes.
- Loss of volume from the cheeks.
- Repetition of facial muscle expressions and shrinkage of the jaw bones.
The loss of collagen and elastin as we age is responsible for the depletion of volume, strength and structure in the skin and the tissue beneath it. What was once able to hold up the corners of the mouth and the skin around it becomes weakened, and so begins to sink and sag.
One cause of a downturned mouth is a set of muscles on the jaw called the depressor anguli oris (DAO), which run from the corners of the lips down to the chin and tend to get stronger as we age. These muscles are responsible for the corners of the mouth turning down when frowning, and when overused, the repetitive action of frowning can cause drooping mouth corners.
The most effective treatments for combatting drooping mouth corners
There are various ways that we can address drooping corners of the mouth. Let’s take a look at the options that we have found to be most effective…
Botox is one of the most effective ways to lift drooping mouth corners — especially if they’re the result of the depressor anguli oris (DAO) muscles pulling downwards. A touch of toxin in the muscles that pull down the corners of your mouth will dampen down this expression, thus helping to reduce the drooping mouth corners and marionette lines.
As usual with neurotoxins in the face, you’ll want an experienced practitioner who can inject the right muscles with an appropriate dose to limit the muscles’ movements without fully freezing them. The toxin will take between one and two weeks to reach its full effect, so don’t expect instant results.
Skin tightening treatments work by applying heat to deep layers of the skin to boost collagen production. Profound RF is a non-surgical advanced needling treatment that does this exceptionally well. Using radiofrequency microneedling, Profound RF stimulates collagen production to tighten and smooth wrinkles on the face, making it particularly effective for lines around the mouth.
Profound RF can deliver radiofrequency to the precise level in the skin where the maximal effect will occur without damaging the overlying superficial layers of skin. The scientists who developed the technology calculated that maximum collagen and elastin stimulation occurs when the deeper layers are heated to 67 degrees for precisely 4 seconds. Profound RF is the only technology that can monitor the skin’s temperature in real-time, allowing for precise control of these optimal parameters. This accurate control gives Profound RF a more reliable clinical response than other non-surgical skin tightening technologies.
Dermal fillers are able to penetrate deep into the underlying structure of the face and reduce the look of drooping mouth corners by restoring the areas where the bone structure has changed with age.
Which filler your practitioner will use is likely to depend on your facial anatomy and the depth of the marionette lines. Adding volume to the mouth corner directly can elevate the angle of the mouth by a couple of millimetres. But your practitioner may also recommend using fillers to augment your cheekbones, which may initially sound like an unlikely strategy for treating the lower face, but actually, it’s very effective for raising everything below the cheek a fraction – and that may be enough to soften the appearance of your marionette lines.
Sofwave is a new-to-the-UK ultrasound device which is FDA-cleared and clinically proven to remodel collagen. It uses Parallel Beam Technology to heat the tissue in the mid-dermis (the lower layers of skin), which triggers the body’s healing response and stimulates new collagen production with zero downtime. It’s an excellent solution for treating mild to moderate fine lines and wrinkles, sagging neck skin, and mild jowling around the jawline with little or no downtime.
If you’d like to learn more about the various treatment options and what’s likely to be right for you, click here to enquire or book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.