How to fix left lower lip that cannot pull down (diagonally to left), and crooked mouth when talking/smiling? (photos)

Hi. My problem is that my mouth is severely crooked when I talk or smile. My left lower lip does not pull down like the right. I am guessing there is a weakness in the left depressor labii inferiosis, or anguli oris. My mouth moves oddly when I talk (left corner does not curl while right side pulls downwards on lower lip too much). My question is, is there any exercises I can do to strengthen the left mouth muscles, so I can have a more symmetrical face without surgery?

Doctor Answers 6

Crooked mouth

Thank you for sharing your pictures and your photos. 

Without more information it is hard to say why your lips appear as they do?  Have they always been like this, since you were little? 

There is a condition called "congenital lower lip palsy" and it is thought to be a weakness of the depressor labii inferiorus (the muscle that pulls your lower lip down) for a reason no one knows.  There is no cure, but you can get botox to the muscle on the other side to make it look the same. 

Best of luck,

Dr Rodman



Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Smile Asymmetry--Fillers and Botox in Combination

Fillers and botox can be used to improve this area. I suggest seeing a facial sculpting expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

DLI muscle is weak, how do I fix

The only way to fix this is to make it look symmetrical. This means placing Botox in the Right DLI muscle. No therapy will make this muscle stronger

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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I appreciate your concern but appear there may be some nerve dysfunction causing your asymmetry. While local muscles exercises will not help, Botox treatment may. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

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How to fix left lower lip that cannot pull down (diagonally to left), and crooked mouth when talking/smiling?

Thank you for sharing your question and photographs.  Unfortunately without knowing your full history it is difficult to offer definite recommendations, but if the muscles responsible for lowering your left lower lip are not strong enough exercise alone will be unable to improve their current function and a better choice is to use botox to weaken the right lower lip muscles to achieve better symmetry.  It would be important to know any history of jaw surgery or possible nerve injury to offer the best advice.  Best wishes.

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Unfortunately there is no way to fix a damaged nerve. Balancing the lip activity by using Botox on the UNAFFECTED side can help restore symmetry. This is a technique used often to improve appearance in facial paralysis patients. 

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.