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Dao (downturned mouth toxin)

The depressor anguli oris, often shortened to DAO, are the muscles attached to the edges of your lips. Our mouths can start to pull down at the corners as we age. Anti-wrinkle injections stop the DAO muscle from pulling down the corners of the mouth (downturned mouth) to be slightly lifted.


A local anaesthetic is first applied to the injection sites on your face. Once you are ready, small quantities of the Anti-wrinkle treatment (Downturned mouth toxin) are injected into the DAO Muscle on either side of your lips.


Anti-wrinkle is suitable for most people; however, this treatment should be avoided by anyone with muscle problems or nerve damage or anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.


Cork, Kerry, Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, Galway and Kerry clinic.


From €160

Doctor: €160

Senior Doctor: €175

Consultant: €190


DAO Downturned mouth

DAO Botox

A downturned mouth is a natural occurrence that happens with ageing. Over time from overactivity, even when not moving your mouth or lips, the corners of your mouth have a tendency to point downwards, resulting in marionette lines and an unhappy-looking appearance.
As we age, our mouths can start to pull down at the corners. Here at Eden Medical Clinic, we can treat the DAO muscle (that is forming the downturned mouth) with anti-wrinkle injections such as Botox, to give the lips an uplifted, happier look. Our aesthetic doctors inject small quantities of the anti-wrinkle treatment into the DAO to relax the muscles on either side of the lip.


The common side effects that occur with DAO and anti-wrinkle injections are generally connected to the injection sites and usually resolve themselves within two days. They include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Temporary skin dimpling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Discolouration

These generally resolve within 2 – 7 days.


  • Massage the face for two weeks
  • Avoid direct sunlight and tanning machines
  • Avoid alcohol and aspirin, ibuprofen and Advil for seven days before and after treatment
  • Avoid blood thinning vitamins A,C and E for seven days
  • Avoid physical exercise for seven days
  • Avoid heat treatments on the treated areas for 10 weeks
  • Avoid temperature extremes
The anti-wrinkle treatment for DAO should last around 3-4 months. The substances contained in the injections are broken down and absorbed by the body so additional treatments will be necessary to maintain this look. A plan for regular follow-up treatments will be put together for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depressor anguli oris (DAO) Botox treatment, also commonly known as DAO treatment, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the depressor anguli oris muscle. The depressor anguli oris muscle is responsible for pulling the corners of the mouth downward, contributing to a downward turn of the lips and an appearance of a frown or sadness.

By injecting Botox into the DAO muscle, the muscle’s activity is temporarily reduced or paralyzed. This helps to relax and weaken the muscle, preventing it from pulling the corners of the mouth downward. As a result, the procedure can create a subtle lifting effect on the mouth, giving the appearance of a more lifted and cheerful smile.

DAO treatment is commonly sought by individuals who are unhappy with the appearance of downturned corners of the mouth, often referred to as “marionette lines” or a “sad mouth.” It is a non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure that can be performed by a qualified healthcare professional.

The depressor anguli oris (DAO) and marionette lines are related but distinct facial features.

The DAO refers to a specific muscle located around the corners of the mouth. It is responsible for pulling the corners downward, which can give the appearance of a frown or a downturned mouth. When this muscle is overactive or overly prominent, it can contribute to an overall sad or unhappy expression.

On the other hand, marionette lines are facial wrinkles or folds that extend vertically from the corners of the mouth downward towards the jawline. These lines get their name from the resemblance to the strings that control marionette puppets. Marionette lines can develop due to various factors, including natural aging, loss of skin elasticity, gravity, and repetitive muscle movements.

While the DAO muscle can contribute to the formation of marionette lines, they are not the same thing. 

DAO treatment with Botox can help improve the appearance of downturned corners of the mouth. This can indirectly reduce the prominence of marionette lines by lifting the corners of the mouth. However, treating marionette lines typically involves the use of dermal fillers to fill the lines.

DAO Treatment Information

Uplifted lips
3-4 months
Local anaesthetic
All clinics
30 minutes


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