Solutions for the Jaw and Lower Face contour
Chin Profiles and Sculpted Jawlines have become quite an important aspect of beauty over the last decade. We see more and more jaw-enhancing tools pop up on the internet, beauty gurus teaching us how to achieve a sculpted jaw and celebrities flaunting their ever-so-sculpted face and jawline.
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What Determines the Shape and Contour of Your Jaw?
The following aspects determine the overall look and shape of your jaw:
· Skin Quality
Your skin plays a very important role in how your jaw looks. It might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the jaw but it does make a difference. Lax skin will make your jaw appear less angular and will take away from the definition of your face. Skin quality can be improved with skin care and skin treatments.
· Soft Tissue
The tissue under your skin is essentially a very complex framework of collagen and elastin. Collagen adds volume and structure to your skin and elastin is responsible for the natural bounce. With the natural ageing process, this framework becomes weaker and can impact the look of your jaw negatively.
The masseter is the main muscle that essentially defines the shape of your jaw. It is responsible for closing the jaw. When you clench your teeth or bite into food, your masseter muscle is doing all the hard work for you. Another major muscle that plays an important role in the look of your jaw is the platysma. It is essentially shaped like a thin fan from the mandible to the collarbones. Ageing can cause this muscle to become saggy, leading to a turkey neck. Overly strong jaw muscles can be softened with muscle relaxant injectables.
· Tendons/ Ligaments
Tendons and ligaments get looser as we age, and this makes the jawline look less sharp and defined. This may be helped in the short term by face tightening device treatments but is resolved with face lifting surgery.
· Salivary Glands
The salivary gland is essentially responsible for creating saliva in your mouth. It is also known as the parotid gland. You have one of these glands on each side of the jaw. If these glands become enlarged or swollen, they can make your face look bottom-heavy and it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Submandibular glands also impact the look of your jawline and neck. Some other glands in the neck can be reduced.
· Submental Fat under the Chin
There is no doubt about the fact that excess fat underneath the chin impacts the look of your jawline negatively. Sometimes we accumulate fat under our chin as a result of overall weight gain. Other times, it is simply caused by genetics. A Double chin may be treated with Fat Reduction Injections, Chin Liposuction or Surgery.
One of the most important elements of your jaw is the bone of the jaw. The ideal mandibular angle is full and sharp. Did you know that your bones can thin with time? Your jaw can be shaped with chin implants or filler materials to enhance its look. In certain cases, patients also get the bones shaved to achieve an angular jaw. You may consider a Chin Surgery (Genioplasty) or even Orthognathic Jaw Surgery.
What Makes an Attractive Jaw?
Well, a combination of all these factors will determine whether your jaw looks attractive by modern beauty standards or not. Many celebrities are known for their distinctive jawlines – like Angelina Joli and Val Kilmer.
Essentially, it comes down to sharper and chiselled angles. Women prefer a more v-shaped angle while men love a square-shaped jaw. However, this varies from person to person based on their overall facial features, ethnicity and cultural preferences. Whatever your idea or a perfect jaw is, you can surely achieve that, especially if you choose a highly experienced and talented plastic surgeon.
Anatomical Measurements for an Attractive Jaw
In men and women, the angle of the jaw typically varies by 2-3 degrees. In men, the average angle is 128 degrees while it is 126 degrees in women. However, the angle can vary to a certain extent within your gender. With that being said, the difference in ethnicities must be taken into account.
Jaw width is a highly variable feature when it comes to precise geometric measurements. No literature specifies a standard quantitative measure for a beautiful feminine or masculine face in terms of a specific jaw width. That is the reason why plastic surgeons and aestheticians don’t aim for a specific value for jaw width when it comes to the aesthetic manipulation of the jaw. The focus is primarily on the angle and the contour of the jaw.
With that being said, it is important to remember that large variations in jaw dimensions aren’t considered a very attractive feature. Similarly, jaw protrusion and increased width can distract from other facial features. Facial Balance is the key.
How to Get an Attractive Jaw
Different aspects of your jawline are responsible for the contour and shape of your face. There are multiple kinds of treatment options available; both surgical and non-surgical. Younger patients can achieve a perfect jaw without undergoing the surgery. However, in patients over a certain age, surgery is often needed. Let’s have a look at a few treatment options:
1. Muscle Relaxant Injections
Muscle relaxant injections work wonders to slim down your jawline. It is a very popular procedure in Asia where patients are huge fans of a v-shaped jawline. The masseter is responsible for the width of the jawline from the front. Whenever you bite something or clench, your jawline will looker wider. Injecting the substance into the masseter muscles will shrink it down over the next few weeks. This is a popular choice of treatment for many as a lot of people prefer to achieve a slimmer lower third of the face.
Muscle relaxant injections can relax the edges of the muscles that will stick out along your neck. Certain people have really strong platysma muscles that can look like a web of cords. These injections can also help to improve muscle tone.
2. Dermal Fillers
There are many dermal fillers available in the market that can replenish the lost volume along with improving the angles, definition and projection. Fillers can be injected in different areas of your face. Thicker hyaluronic acid fillers and calcium hydroxyapatite fillers are great choices.
Shaping the frontal part of the jaw and chin can work amazingly well, especially if you wish to make your chin appear longer. The results can last anywhere from six months to a year. The injector might use filler in the cheek and midsection to avoid a bottom-heavy look.
3. Fat Reducing or Fat Melting Injections (Belkyra / Kybella)
Belkyra is a treatment that involves injecting deoxycholic acid under the chin. If you have a double chin, your jaw won’t look sharp and angular. Belkyra injections melt away the fat in a targeted manner. The ideal candidate for this procedure is someone who has isolated fat but doesn’t have any lax skin. As the fat melts away, your skin will bounce back to the new contours, making your jaw look less saggy and more prominent. It is important to choose an expert provider for the treatment to achieve the best possible results. If you have lax skin then Vaser Liposuction or a Neck Lift may be a better alternative.
4. Energy-Based Treatments
Over the past decade, we have seen this technology become more and more popular in medical aesthetics with new medical devices offering a range of modalities.
Many devices can be used to shrink up the skin & tissues and make them tighter with the help of heat energy. Some devices transmit energy on the skin surface only such as Ultherapy. Others transmit heat energy under the skin like FaceTite or Renuvion.
Radiofrequency RF treatments are often combined with micro-needling to achieve healthier skin and tighten soft tissues. Other therapies include Vivace, Pixel8, and Morpheus8.
Some of these devices and techniques are used in combination with surgical procedures to achieve optimal results.
5. Chin Implants
Sometimes implants are required for the jawline. Dr Kernohan typically inserts implants into two areas of your face: typically on the front of the chin and at mandibular angles. The implants are inserted into your skin by creating a snug incision in the mouth. The best part about this approach is that you won’t have any visible scarring. There is no risk involved with the incision site. With this technique, the risk of infection is greatly minimised as the external approach is used.
6. Mandibular Contouring
If you want to achieve a slimmer jawline, jaw surgery is a great choice. Mandible contouring or v-line surgery is performed to soften the lower third of the face to help you achieve a more feminine jaw. It is a very popular procedure amongst Asians. The surgery is also performed as a part of facial feminisation surgery. Dr Kernohan will perform this surgery through the mouth to prevent any visible scarring on the outside. He will work with the bottom surface of the mandible to shape your bone. You will have to be cautious about your diet and limit it to liquids and purees only for a couple of weeks.
7. Chin Lipo (Submental Liposuction)
Liposuction is an invasive procedure but may be done in day surgery. The procedure is only suitable for people who are dealing with excess fat along the jaw but don’t have any excess skin. The results of liposuction are long-lasting and you won’t need more treatment sessions. You will be allowed to go back to your usual routine in about 2 weeks’ time frame.
8. Facelift Surgery
In many cases, less invasive non-surgical treatments do not work and do not help long term. This is when surgery is a more suitable option. Surgery definitely produces the most dramatic results and requires a certain recovery period or downtime.
The choice of facial rejuvenation surgery will be based upon what are your problem areas. If you experience major skin laxity along with a double chin, Dr Michael Kernohan might recommend a facelift procedure along with Belkyra. If the bone is a problem area, the surgery might involve Genioplasty or jaw shaving.
9. Lower Face and Neck Lift Surgery
If your jawline has changed over the years due to significant sagging and loss of volume, lower facelift surgery combined with a neck lift might be a choice of treatment for you. Most people start to experience some signs of ageing as soon as they hit their early 40s. The signs of ageing can be more visible if you have thinner skin. The surgery tightens loose muscles, gets rid of excess fat, and tightens excess skin.
The process of achieving an attractive jaw is very different for every single patient. It is important to schedule an appointment with the right plastic surgeon in order to understand your unique facial anatomy and determine the right course of action.
Prepare some photos of what you consider to be an attractive jaw to show Dr Kernohan during the consultation. It will help the surgeon understand your vision and let you know whether your ideal jaw fits your face or not.
Further Reading about Facial Surgery to Create an Attractive Jaw and Contour
- Dr Kernohan’s Facelift Surgery Page
- Dr Kernohan’s Blog about Recovery after Facelift
- Dr Kernohan’s Blog about Ageing Face