Lifting the corners of the mouth with fillers treats one of the signs of aging.
As we age, the corners of our mouth droop. This happens as our upper cheeks descend, and we lose support in our lower face.
Fortunately, fillers can restore the lost volume and rejuvenate this sign of aging.
How they work
Fillers add volume to the area injected. When lifting the corners of the mouth, we use fillers in two ways. The first is by directly injecting the drooping corners. This specifically lifts the corners.
The second way we use fillers to lift the corners of mouth is by adding volume to the cheeks. Replacing cheek volume elevates the corners of the mouth by pulling them up.
Filling each of these areas is a simple office based procedure. They can be treated independently of each other or together. I often recommend starting with directly filling the corners of the mouth and then adding volume to the cheeks if additional lift is needed.
Having said that, most people who need fillers to lift drooping mouth corners, often need volume replacement of the cheeks too.
Which filler is best?
The two main factors that affect the choice of filler are how much we need to lift the corners of the mouth and how deep the marionette lines are. The marionette lines are the folds that run from the corners of the mouth down toward the side of the chin.
The deeper the folds and the more lift that is needed, the more lifting capacity the filler must possess. Each filler has unique properties including lifting capacity. Fillers with the greatest lifting capacity includeRestylane Lyft and Voluma.
I tend to prefer original Restylane most of the time for its combination of lifting capacity and versatility. Some of the newer fillers also offer flexibility which can be valuable in this highly mobile area.
For the cheeks, either Restylane Lyft or Voluma are best for their strong lifting capacity.
In addition to lifting the corners of the mouth with fillers, I often use Botox to release the downward pull on the corners.
Botox works by decreasing muscle tension and limiting the intensity of muscle movement. The corners of our mouths have muscles that lift them when smiling and opposing ones that pull them down when frowning.
Crippling the frown muscles with Botox, leaves the lifting muscles unopposed.
Risks and recovery
There are no unique risks associated with using fillers as described. With any filler treatment, there is a chance of bruising and temporary swelling. More serious but rare risks include infection and injecting into blood vessels.
Swelling is usually not significant, so there is minimal recovery.
Botox has one unique risk in this area. If overdone, it can affect the smile making it asymmetrical.