Does Mouth Widening Surgery Need To Remove Muscle?

Q: Dr. Eppley, this is about mouth widening surgery, I saw online about a question about how mouth widening surgery can improve the length of the mouth and Dr. Eppley answered about 5mm on both sides of mouth, Is that right? I don’t see how wider the mouth can get without cutting too far into the muscle which can be dangerous.

A: All mouth widening surgery involves removing a wedge of orbicularis oris muscle as that this is a necessity to help prevent relapse. There is nothing dangerous about such muscle manipulation/removal. This is a small wedge of the lateral aspect of the muscle which has no functional significance.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana