Weak Chin

Symmetry is beauty, and that includes every portion of the face, along with the lower third where the jaw and chin reside. When the chin is smaller, it can throw everything else out of balance. Our other features such as our nose or cheeks tend to look larger. The chin can be dwarfed by the neck and the submental fat beneath making us appear overweight, or it could be completely hidden, leaving behind very little barrier between the jaw and the neck. Patients who have a weak chin don’t always notice. But the chin is essential to rounding out the rest of the face and creating a full, aesthetically pleasing package.

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What is Weak Chin?

A weak chin, also known as a receding chin, retrogenia, or a recessive chin, is a cosmetic concern caused by a weak chin profile. When patients come into a cosmetologist’s office, they’re not usually focused on their chins. They’re more worried about their cheekbones or their nose. Mostly this is because when we look in the mirror straight ahead, we only see one angle of our profile. But in day to day life, everyone around us sees our entire profile–things that we often miss. The chin can have an enormous impact on the shape of our face, its symmetry, and it significantly impacts the appearance of the rest of our face in relation to it. 

It’s often been said that the eyes are a window into the soul, but the chin can define your character. It doesn’t really tell people anything about our personalities, but people still use it to judge us, even when they don’t mean to do so. The chin should be in proportion to the rest of the face. Ideally the longest tip of it should match up with the forwardmost tip of the bottom lip. Men should have a broader chin, while female chins should be more slender. A patient has a weak chin if their chin is not a prominent feature in their face and slopes backwards towards the neck. 

What Causes Weak Chin?

Weak chins are often a result of a misalignment of the lower jaw, causing the chin to be pushed backwards in relation to the upper jaw. Many patients with a weak chin have an overbite. This develops for a number of reasons. Weak chins can also be a result of aging or genetics.

  • Thumb-sucking

    In children, thumb-sucking is a normal response to stress or anxiety. They usually stop around age 5. If they continue, the thumb will press on the lower teeth, causing stunted development of the lower jaw. When the lower jaw is smaller, the chin tends to recede creating a smaller, less prominent aesthetic.

  • Aging

    As we get older, our jaws and chins tend to lose volume due to a decrease in bone density and fat. This can cause the chin to recede significantly. Sagging skin, which is a result of a depletion of nourishing proteins, makes the problem even worse. This issue isn't universal, but it does crop up often.

  • Overbite

    An overbite occurs when the lower jaw is pulled farther back, causing the top teeth to bite ahead of the lower teeth instead of having them connect. This can worsen over time, which could result in a weak chin. This is the second most common reason why patients develop weak chins.

  • Genetics

    Genetics and heredity are the leading cause of weak chins. Sometimes the lower jaw is smaller due to inherited traits. Genetics can exacerbate certain aspects of aging. It can cause an overbite. It can also cause fat to develop around the chin or in the submental area, greatly reducing the chin’s appearance.

Procedures That Remedy Weak Chin

There is no reason to live with a weak chin, especially if it causes a serious detriment to the face's aesthetic value. There are numerous treatments out there, both surgical and non-surgical, and they are all considered safe and effective. Check out some of the procedures below. These are just a few of the options available to the public.

  • Kybella

    Kybella is an injection treatment made from bile that can be found in the human body. It isn't for everyone. It does not increase the size of the chin or alter its shape, but it does work to emphasize the chin by cutting down on some of the fatty tissue surrounding it.

    Find doctors who offer Kybella
  • Chin Implant

    Weak chins are smaller. They are shaped differently than their more pronounced counterparts. For that reason, implants are usually the preferred method of correcting them. The surgeon will make an incision beneath the chin or inside the mouth and insert the implant, placing it at the base of the chin. 

    Find doctors who offer Chin Implant
  • Dermal Fillers

    Dermal fillers are injectable products, such as Juvederm or Restylane. They augment the size of the chin by making it more prominent. They usually contain hyaluronic acid. Many patients prefer this option because it is temporary, and they can use it to customize their look. But it does require touch-ups.

    Find doctors who offer Dermal Fillers

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of strange stories about implants, even among plastic surgeons. Some say that they dissolve the bone. Others believe that they cause infections. Still, others are convinced that they cannot provide a natural aesthetic. Just like any surgical operation, chin implantations are a distinct art form. Inserting them properly requires a level of skill and years of practice. Many surgeons don't take the time to perfect that art. They don't know where to place the implants and how to ensure that they stay in place. That is why it is so important for patients to take their time researching and interviewing providers.

The longevity of dermal fillers can vary heavily. Most surgeons use Juvederm or Restylane to augment the size of the chin. There are different types of Juvederm available, but thicker formulations seem to work best. These can last anywhere from 1-2 years, though individual biological factors can have an effect on this. Restylane doesn't last as long as Juvederm. On average it wears off somewhere around 18 months. These results are not universal. Some patients find that fillers build up over time further bloating the chin with each injection. Others find that the filler doesn't have any effect on them at all.

A cleft is a dimple in the center of the chin, causing a concave shape. In women, it's not necessarily considered an attractive feature. But in men, it's considered very desirable. In fact, many men avoid surgery for their weak chin because they don't want to cover it up. Fortunately, that is completely unnecessary. There are many different types of implants available. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them have a dimple built into them, so patients can retain their cleft if they're like. Surgeons could also insert an artificial cleft. Providers will go over different options with patients.

There's a myth permeating the medical and aesthetic community that natural products are somehow better for patients. People think foreign "chemicals" are bad and somehow more damaging. In reality, it rarely works that way. There are natural forms of treatment. Kybella, for example, exists in the human body. But it can't increase the size of the chin, and it can be quite dangerous if injected by an incompetent practitioner. The same can be said for Juvederm and Restylane, which use naturally occurring chemicals, sometimes derived from natural sources. They are often less effective than the least natural option, which is implants. 

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