Certain individuals may appear to have wider jaws. This can be due to either enlarged jaw or masseter muscles, excess fatty tissue in their cheeks, or a protruding jawbone or mandible. As we age, the loss of bony structures and sagging skin will cause the lower face to become wider. Therefore, to achieve a more youthful appearance, one can narrow the appearance of the lower face. This can be achieved by several means.
The most obvious and cost-effective method is simply to lose some weight—if the problem stems from excess fatty tissue in the cheeks. Certain people are good candidates for a procedure called buccal fat removal, which involves surgically removing some fatty tissue from the mid-cheek or “buccal” area. Another invasive or surgical procedure involves shaving some of excess bone off the mandible to reduce the appearance of a protruding jawbone.
A very convenient non-invasive procedure is to simply inject Botox into the masseter muscles in order to cause the muscles to atrophy or become smaller. Since Botox paralyzes or weakens the muscle that it is injected into, the muscle will eventually become smaller by the mere fact that it is no longer in use and contracting. Imagine if Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped working out; his enlarged muscles would obviously become much smaller. The amount of Botox used for this procedure is usually significantly more than that used to smooth out wrinkles on the face. Not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure because they may not have prominent jaw muscles. Therefore, they would not benefit at ALL if this is the case. Dr. Tsay will determine if you’re a good candidate. If you’re not, he will advise you of another alternative treatment to achieve your aesthetic goals.
Coincidentally, more than half of the clients asking for this procedure either consciously or unconsciously grind their teeth at night or, when stressed or tense, clench their teeth. Their lower face becomes wider as a result of the excessive muscle contractions. This is due to the hypertrophied masseter or jaw muscles.
Some clients are afflicted with TMJ (officially called TMD or Temporomandibular disorder”), which is a painful condition that causes problems in the joint where the jawbone connects to the skull. When Botox is injected into the muscles, the grinding or clenching will cease within a week. However, the aesthetic effect of the jaw slimming usually takes approximately 3-4 weeks before one notices an obvious reduction in the width of the jaw and will continue to take effect in weeks 4-8. The “jaw slimming” effect lasts 4-5 months, in which a repeat injection will be required at that time in order to maintain the visual effect.
Furthermore, if one desires to achieve a “V-Shape” lower face, Dr. Tsay can even inject a filler into the chin in order to elongate the lower face and give a more defined and pointier chin after the jaw slimming effect kicks in.The chin augmentation is usually performed once the jaw slimming has fully taken effect so that the face can fully be evaluated to determine how much filler is to be injected in the chin and where. This combination treatment can dramatically enhance and give definition to an otherwise dull and ill-defined lower face.
Call for a free consultation to see if you are a good candidate for any of these procedures.