How Can I Make My Mouth Smaller?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I wanted to know if there was any way to make my mouth smaller. I am 22 years old and I have always been self-conscious about my mouth. It has become a major problem in my life. I want to know what kind of recommendations you might have. 

A: To some degree you have a bit of bimaxillary alveolar protrusion which makes your overall mouth area project further out from the frontal plane of your face. This makes your overall mouth look big. Also, by pure measurements, the horizontal width of your mouth from one corner to the other is wide as it exceeds a vertical line drawn down from the pupil of your eyes.

One method to make a mouth look smaller is to narrow its width by bringing in the corners of the mouth. While this can be down, it does leave scars at the corners of the mouth which with your natural skin pigment will probably not be very good scars. Eve if they were good and acceptable scars I do not think that would help that much as your problem is as much a protrusive issue as it is about its width.

An alternative strategy to dealing with a protrusive mouth is to increase projection of other areas of your face to better balance the mouth. You do have a retrusive chin and flat cheek bones. Increasing their projection through chin and cheek augmentation will probably help make the mouth look less protrusive and create better overall facial balance. This is a scarless and safer approach to smaller mouth surgery. The potential benefits of improving these facial areas on the appearance of the mouth could be demonstrated by computer imaging.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana