Uplift Your Smile: Botox for a Downturned Mouth

Do you ever feel like you look sad or tired, even when you’re feeling happy? Downturned mouth corners can create an unintentionally tired or grumpy expression. This can be frustrating, especially if it doesn’t reflect how you’re truly feeling. 

Thankfully, we’ve got good news. Today, we’re exploring how Botox, the world’s most popular anti-wrinkle cosmetic treatment, can effectively address downturned mouth corners, helping you achieve a more youthful appearance that matches your inner joy.

What Causes Downturned Mouth Corners?

As we age, gravity and natural volume loss can take their toll on our lower face, leaving us with sagging skin, jowls and drooping mouth corners. But there’s another culprit: the depressor anguli oris muscle, often abbreviated as DAO. This little muscle sits right at the corners of your mouth, and with every frown or downward expression, it pulls those corners downwards. Over time, this constant tug-of-war can lead to those persistent droopy corners, even when you feel your best. 

How Can Botox Help?

Botox (botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxin most famous for treating frown lines and crow’s feet, but it’s a powerful tool for subtly enhancing your appearance in other ways, too. It works by relaxing facial muscles, and in the case of downturned mouth corners, that’s exactly what we want. 

When injected in small quantities into the DAO muscle, Botox temporarily weakens its strength. This gentle relaxation allows the corners of your mouth to lift naturally, creating a more youthful resting facial expression that reflects your happy mood. 

Getting a Botox for Downturned Mouth Treatment

A Botox appointment is a straightforward, no fuss experience. First, your provider will discuss your goals and desired outcome. They’ll review your medical history to ensure your suitability for this treatment, including prior use of Botox or other neurotoxins like Dysport. Then, they’ll assess your facial anatomy to determine the most effective injection sites.

The Botox injections themselves are quick, usually only taking a few minutes. You’ll feel a slight pinch, but discomfort is minimal. Overall, you can expect to spend less than an hour at the clinic.

Botox doesn’t require any downtime–you can go back to most usual activities. For aftercare, we recommend avoiding sun exposure, strenuous activities and alcohol consumption for the next 24 hours.

Are There Side Effects?

Botox treatments are well-established and considered generally safe, but like any medical procedure, they can come with temporary side effects.  Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Minor Discomfort:  You might experience some minor bruising, swelling, or tenderness at the injection sites. These are typically temporary and subside within a few days.
  • Temporary Asymmetry:  In rare cases, there may be slight asymmetry in the corners of your mouth after treatment. This is usually due to slight variations in how the muscles react to the Botox.  An experienced injector will take steps to minimize this risk, and any asymmetry typically resolves within a few weeks.
  • Gummy Smile:  Also uncommon, but possible, is a temporary “gummy smile.” This occurs when the relaxation of the DAO muscle allows the upper lip to show more prominently when smiling.  Again, a skilled injector will use precise injection techniques to minimize this possibility.

It’s important to remember that these side effects are usually mild and temporary. If you experience any discomfort that persists or worsens, be sure to contact your injector right away.

Beyond Botox: The Power of Fillers for a Radiant Smile

Botox offers a fantastic solution for relaxing the DAO muscle and lifting downturned corners. But for some, achieving optimal results might involve a dynamic duo: Botox and dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are injectable gels that add volume to specific areas of the face. In the case of downturned mouth corners, fillers can be strategically placed to provide additional lift and support. Here’s how this powerful combination works:

Restoring Lost Volume

Over time, our faces lose collagen, leading to volume depletion. This can contribute to the appearance of sagging skin and marionette lines. Filler injections can be strategically placed around the mouth corners and jawline to replace lost volume and provide a scaffolding effect. This additional support helps to further elevate the corners of the mouth and smooth out marionette lines for a more defined and youthful lower face.

Enhancing the Lips

The same applies to lips. As we age, our lips naturally lose volume, which can contribute to a downturned appearance. Lip fillers, typically hyaluronic acid-based products like Juvederm or Restylane, can be strategically injected to add subtle volume and definition to the lips. This plumper appearance helps to counteract the downward pull and creates a more positive tilt to the corners of your mouth.

Beyond volume, lip fillers can reshape the lips for a more balanced and youthful look. An experienced injector can subtly define the cupid’s bow (the indentation above the upper lip) and add fullness to the center of the upper or lower lip. This creates a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing shape that complements the lifting effect of Botox on the corners.

A Bespoke Approach for Optimal Results

The beauty of combining Botox and fillers lies in its customization. During your consultation, a board-certified dermatologist or injector will assess your specific needs and facial anatomy. They’ll then determine the ideal combination of Botox and filler type, placement and amount to achieve your desired outcome. Whether you want a subtle lift or a more dramatic rejuvenation, this tailored approach allows for natural-looking results that enhance your smile and leave you feeling confident.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Botox can be a fantastic option for rejuvenating your smile and addressing downturned mouth corners. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age and Muscle Activity: Botox works best on mild to moderate downturned corners caused by overactive DAO muscles. If you’re younger and have good skin elasticity, Botox is likely a strong candidate for achieving your desired results.
  • Severity of Downturn: In cases with significant drooping or sagging skin, Botox alone might not be sufficient. While it can relax the muscle, it won’t necessarily address volume loss or deep wrinkles. Here, a combination treatment with dermal fillers or a consultation about surgical options like a facelift or lower face lift might be more effective.
  • Overall Skin Quality:  Botox works beautifully on wrinkles caused by muscle movement. However, if your primary concern is sagging skin texture or deep wrinkles around the mouth, other procedures like microneedling, laser treatments, or peels might be more suitable.

The Importance of Consultation

The best way to determine if Botox is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or other qualified injector. They will assess your facial anatomy, skin quality, and the severity of your downturned corners. They can then discuss your goals and recommend the most effective treatment plan, whether it’s Botox alone, a combination of Botox and fillers, or alternative procedures for a more comprehensive rejuvenation.

Remember: There’s no shame in exploring all possible treatment options.  An experienced injector will provide honest guidance and ensure you achieve the natural-looking results you desire. 

Other Uses for Botox in the Lower Face

Botox’s versatility extends far beyond downturned lips. Here’s how Botox can tackle various concerns in the lower face, giving you a more youthful, defined appearance:

Marionette Lines

These lines that run down from the corners of the mouth are caused by repeated muscle contractions. By strategically injecting Botox into these muscles, you can relax them, reducing their appearance for a smoother, more relaxed look. This treatment is often most effective in combination with dermal fillers.


Jowls, the sagging skin along the jawline, can be caused by a combination of factors like age, gravity and volume loss. While Botox can’t directly address sagging skin, it can help prevent jowls from worsening. By relaxing the muscles that contribute to pulling down the jawline, Botox offers a subtle lifting effect, creating a more defined and youthful jawline contour.

Gummy Smile

A gummy smile occurs when too much of the upper gum shows when smiling. This can sometimes be caused by an overactive muscle that lifts the upper lip. Botox injections in this specific muscle can help relax it, reducing the excessive gum exposure and creating a more balanced, natural-looking smile. 

The Bottom Line

Downturned mouth corners can be a bothersome concern, but with advancements in cosmetic treatments, there’s no need to settle for a less-than-happy expression. Botox offers a safe and effective solution for relaxing the DAO muscle and lifting the corners of your mouth for a more approachable appearance. 

Remember, a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or injector is key to determining if Botox is the right choice for you. They can create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs, whether it’s Botox alone, a combination with fillers, or alternative procedures.

Ultimately, the goal is to enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence. By addressing downturned mouth corners, you can achieve a brighter, more radiant smile that reflects how you really feel.

Call Us
Virtual ConsultYes, we telehealth! Request Virtual Consult