Q: How do you do mouth widening? I have a relative that is scheduled for that procedure and we are hesitant to do it. We have never heard of such a thing. How safe is the procedure? Thank you for any information that you can share with me.
A: The concept of making one’s mouth wider is possible but very rarely done. I can only assume that your relative has a small horizontal width to their mouth (small mouth) and wants it to be extended further horizontally.
Such an operation is possible by using the principles of commissure creation or modification. Known in plastic surgery as a commussuroplasty, the corners of the mouth can be either shortened (closed down) or opened up. (made wider). To make the mouth wider, a modified isoceles triangle of skin is removed out to the distance you want and the inner lining of the lip (mucosa/vermilion) is advanced out and sewn to it. (a Y-V advancement) This relatively simple procedure will make the mouth wider but does so by leaving small scars at the corners of the mouth at the junction of the skin and the lip tissue. If not overdone too much, it can definitely make a difference and look fairlu natural. Such a technique is used in the more commonly done corner of the mouth lift, where downturned corners are turned up and made more horizontal to get rid of frowning or a downturned smile.
Conversely, the reverse can be done to make a wide mouth small. (a V-Y advancement) This leaves a more noticeable scar in its wake as the lip lining is moved further inward.
Dr. Barry Eppley