After our previous Blog post, Jawline Sculpting, Part I: Chin and Jawline Augmentation, the natural follow-up would be about jawline slimming. Why reduce the jawline? There are multiple reasons. In my practice, the two reasons that people mention are to make their face “less round” appearing, and also to reduce the prominence of the jaw.
The Round Face
The “round face” can make people feel like their face has “poor definition”, appears “bottom heavy”, or makes them look “tired”. Some patients that complain of having a round face have strong and bulky masseter muscles. If you put your fingers on your cheeks in front of your ear and bite forcefully, you will flex these muscles.
These muscles can be treated with neuromodulators such as Botox, or one of its cousins, Dysport or Xeomin. The muscles relax as they do in the upper face when treated with one of these products. Just like other muscles in your body, if you don’t move it, you lose it. The muscles atrophy with time if treatments are consistent and take place before the muscles can recover their strength. With this atrophy comes a visual jawline slimming. As this area “frames” your face, making the frame smaller can have a profound visual effect, even though anatomically we are talking about millimeters of reduction.
A strong jawline can be a masculinizing feature for some people. If this is troublesome, then aside from reducing the muscle, the jaw bone (mandible) itself can be reduced. This is a surgical procedure where the surface of the bone is actually reduced, giving permanent results that are unattainable any other way. The bony reduction is followed by a prolonged period of muscle swelling, as the area that is reduced is often the place where the masseter muscle inserts into the bone.
Once this swelling improves, the results of the surgery are seen. It can be combined with treatments to relax the masseter muscle described above to further jawline slimming.
My Personal Experience
Though jawline reduction is not as common as jawline augmentation, if this bothers you, then it can make a big difference. Treating the masseter with neuromodulators is something I have personally had done. The millimetres of reduction are visible, and it also came with other, unforeseen benefits. I found myself grinding my teeth less at night, and this gave me a noticeable improvement in sleep quality. This alone made the treatment worthwhile. I have heard of TMJ pain sufferers also having a benefit from these treatments aimed at relaxing the masseter muscles.