The Permanent Smile

Below is a fascinating technique (note: fascinating does not suggest good or bad, morally justifiable or reprehensible…it just means, well, fascinating) to turn up the corners of the mouth if someone has a naturally downturned smile and thus, give them a permanent smile. If you have a naturally downturned mouth, it could give other the wrong impression that you’re angry or have a bitchy resting face.



A plastic surgeon in South Korea has developed a minimally invasive technique that rearranges the muscles around the corners of the mouth. If you want to know the technical terms, it appears that he takes a slip of muscle from the depressor anguli oris and risorius muscles and pulls them up and attaches them to the zygomaticus major muscles! In less technical terms, there are muscles that pull the corners of the mouth up (zygomaticus major) and muscles that pull the corners of the mouth down or to the side (depressor anguli oris and risorius, respectively). By taking muscle fibers from the muscles that pull the corners down/sideways, and redirecting them upwards and connecting them to the muscle that pulls the corners up, you get a permanent smile regardless of whether you’re smiling or not!


An easier, albeit not permanent way of achieving the same results is to inject Botox/Xeomin under the corners of the mouth. The Botox/Xeomin will relax the muscles that pull down the mouth (depressor anguli oris), and allow the muscles that pull the corners up to act without an opposing force. This does a nice job of pulling up the corners but will need to be repeated every 3-6 months.


Anytime a surgeon can understand the anatomy of the body well enough to manipulate them and try and improve on what God did, you have to be impressed with their level of temerity. Whether you believe this is right or wrong is for another blog post. I will end with this sentiment – you could argue that the smile is the most important part of your human interaction. If the surgery goes well, then great. You’ll give this doctor a good rating/review on his Yelp site. But if the operation causes your smile to be uneven or the muscles don’t act as they should, it will be permanently devastating for the patient and subsequently for the doctor when the patient’s wrath is unleashed. So maybe a temporary fix with Botox or Xeomin is the way to go!


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