Getting Rid of Drooping Around the Corners of the Mouth
What Are Oral Commissures?
The area where the upper and lower lips meet is known as the oral commissure or the corner of the mouth. The oral cavity is one of the most used organs of the body; we use the oral cavity to speak, laugh, smile and eat all the time. Thus, at some point in time, the daily wear and tear of the underlying tissues leads to sagging of the corner of the mouth.
Many individuals end up with wrinkles along the corner of the mouth that gives them an angry or a stern appearance. Wrinkles on the corners of the mouth also make one look a lot older than they actually are. Once wrinkles develop along the corner of the mouth, they usually progress. Over time, one may also develop drooping of the corner of the mouth as well. Wrinkles around the corner of the mouth can be worsened by smoking and excessive sun exposure. Another relatively common reason people develop wrinkles or sagging around the corner of the mouth is facial paralysis. Besides a stroke, one can develop temporary paralysis of the face (Bell palsy), which is also associated with sagging and wrinkle formation along the corner of the mouth.
Can wrinkles along the mouth corner be prevented?
There is no practical way to prevent wrinkles along the corner of the mouth. However, once fine lines start to develop along the corner of the mouth, one should avoid exposure to excess sun and quit smoking. These measures may prevent turning the lines in to deep fold and wrinkles.
There are some facial exercises that one can perform to tighten the muscles around the mouth. There are different facial exercises for different parts of the mouth and they all work to some degree. However, facial exercise is not a one shot deal and requires dedication and patience.
What treatments are available in New York for wrinkles along the mouth corner?
Wrinkles along the corner of the mouth are quite resistant to treatment with non-surgical methods. They usually do not respond well to chemical peels and other topical agents like retinoids. Dermabrasion only works for very fine lines, but it does not do much for sagging skin or wrinkles.
Botox is an effective solution for these wrinkles. The injections are done as an outpatient and do not take more than a few minutes. There is almost no downtime with Botox, and the cosmetic benefits can be seen in 5-12 days.
Another option is the use of dermal fillers to erase wrinkles along the corner of the mouth. There are both collagen and non-collagen dermal fillers on the market. But most cosmetic experts use Juvederm and Radiesse, which produce superb results in a very short time. Dermal fillers are injected in a clinic or a spa and do not take more than 20-0 minutes. The downtime is short and the results can be seen once the swelling and redness subsides. The cosmetic benefits of dermal fillers may last anywhere from 6-18 months, depending on which agent is used.
Patients should understand that treating wrinkles along the corners of the mouth requires experience. The reason is that if the injections are not done right, you may end up with uneven oral commissures, which can look worse than the wrinkles. So in the end, it is important to seek a healthcare worker with experience in dealing with facial wrinkles.
Drooping around the corners of the mouth
Drooping around the corner of the mouth is not a common problem but when it occurs it can be very obvious. The mouth is a complex structure with many muscles surrounding the lips. When the muscles around the mouth become weak, are injured or paralyzed, one may develop drooping around the comer of the mouth. In most people, the drooping around the mouth corner is usually one sided.
Two very common causes of drooping of the mouth corners are stroke (which is common in elderly individuals) and Bell palsy. The latter is a medical disorder that suddenly presents with one-sided facial paralysis in young people. It has been linked to several virus infections and, fortunately, it is only a temporary cause. When people develop mild drooping of the mouth, it may not be obvious, but severe dropping of the mouth can be associated with drooling of saliva. The reason is that the muscles of the mouth are weak, and the individual is not able to swallow the saliva, so it leaks out of the mouth.
Can drooping of the mouth be prevented?
Unfortunately other than living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, exercising and avoiding the sun, there are no specific methods to prevent drooping of the mouth.
How does one treat drooping of the mouth?
The treatment depends on the cause. For patients with stroke, there is no specific treatment that works for drooping of the mouth. With time, as the stroke improves, patients start to develop better control of their facial muscles and the drooping subsides.
For people with drooping caused by Bell Palsy, there are two options. One should note that Bell Palsy is a transient medical disorder with an unpredictable course. Even without treatment, most patients will recover within 3-9 months. However, some people hate the facial disfigurement and want something done. Drooling of saliva is not aesthetically pleasing.
One of the best ways to treat drooping of the mouth is with the use of Botox. The injections can be done in a matter of minutes and the full benefit of the injections is seen 1-2 weeks later. Botox can reverse drooping of the mouth for 3-4 months and repeat injections are required.
One can also perform a variety of facial exercises to strengthen the facial muscles. There are several types of exercises depending on the part of the mouth that is involved. These exercises do not produce immediate results and have to be regularly done for months. For example, one may have to suck on a straw, make whistling sounds with the lips or make the lips into different shapes to increase the strength of the underlying muscles. Facial exercise requires a great deal of dedication and motivation, but if done, the results are pleasing.
Before you get any type of treatment for drooping of the mouth, it is important to see a healthcare provider and determine the cause first. Conditions like Bell palsy do not require treatment because the drooping spontaneously improves with time. Patients who have a stroke may have other problems that may require more immediate attention.