Facial plastic surgeons are often asked what are the “best” options to improve one’s appearance. Whether it’s the neck for a facelift or the eyes for blepharoplasty, a plastic surgeon will examine the entire face as part of the consultation. In addition, the best plastic surgeons look inside at the mouth and check the teeth for an overbite too.
Why check the teeth?
Your teeth affect your appearance, not just your smile.
Patients with an overbite, or prior history of an overbite, are predisposed to having a double chin (i.e. submental fullness). The lower jaw bone in patients with an overbite will often be relatively too small, and subsequently the chin is weak or recessive. In addition, the glands, muscle, and tissue that are normally hidden and tucked up under the lower jaw bone are displaced downward to create an ill-defined or soft neck and jawline. As we discussed previously in this blog, a double chin is not always from excess neck fat.
This chin and jaw size relationship is partially genetic and partially developmental during facial growth. Patients who were thumb suckers, “lip lickers”, or “tongue thrusters” as children are more likely to have an overbite. Patients who may have had nasal allergies or congestion tend to breath with their mouth open, which also partially limits growth of the jaw bone. Often these patients also have a history of wisdom teeth extraction, since the jaw bones are too small to accommodate the normal number of teeth. Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) is also very common in patients with chronic dental conditions.
What options are available to improve a double chin?
The best plastic surgeons will offer their cosmetic patients a variety of options to improve the chin and neck. These may include the following:
- chin augmentation, surgical with implant (ex. silicone) or non-surgical with filler (ex. hyaluronic gel)
- chin bone surgery
- neck liposuction
- Kybella® injections
- neck lift or facelift
The decision on cosmetic procedures is mutually determined by patient and plastic surgeon. Contributing factors to the decision include the specific anatomy of the patient, anticipated recovery time of procedure, and degree of desired change. In addition, patients may need or want dental treatments as well to improve the overbite with a “dental facelift”.
Have you considered facial plastic surgery? Share your thoughts below, or contact the office for a consultation.