Certain individuals may have a wider appearance of their jaws which can be either due to enlarged jaw muscles or masseter muscles, excess fatty tissue in their cheeks, or 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 and this can be achieved by several means.

The most cost effective and obvious method is simply to lose some weight if the problem stems from excess fatty tissue in the cheeks. Depending on if the person is a good candidate there is 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 is by shaving some of the excess bone of the mandible to reduce the appearance of the protruding jawbone.

A very convenient noninvasive 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 over some time by the mere fact that is weakened and not 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 and therefore would not benefit at ALL if this is the case. Dr. Tsay will determine if you are a good candidate and if you are 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 either during nighttime, or clench their teeth during the daytime due to tension and stress. As a result of the excessive muscles contractions, their lower face becomes wider due to the hypertrophied masseter or jaw muscles. Also some clients who have TMJ or or officially called TMD Temporomandibular disorder which gives them pain and problems in the joint where the jawbone connects to the skull also will seek treatment with botox for these symptoms. 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 continues to take effect 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. This is done in a stepwise fashion and 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 and where the filler is to be injected in the chin. 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.