The jaw is one of the main things that somebody notices when they see your face. Your jaw contributes to the overall silhouette of your face. The jaw width is one of the most critical aspects of the jaw’s appearance.
The average jaw width is 98mm in females and 106mm in males, give or take 7mm. However, there is no clear cut number of what the jaw width should be. Males should have a larger jaw than females. A jaw width equal or close to the bizygomatic width is most attractive in males.
Because the jaw is an important feature, aesthetics wise, many people want jaws that are proportional. To most people, a nice jaw will contribute to a well-balanced face. Like the feature that largely defines face shape and overall proportions, the jaw becomes a priority to most people.
But how important is it really to have an average jaw width? Do you think that your jaw looks too big? Or too small? Do you think it looks wonky compared to the rest of your face? The answer to these is not always clear cut.
Sometimes, a larger-than-average jaw width will look just right because of proportional widths of the other parts of the face.
But before we dive deeper into how a jaw fits into a face, let’s first talk about how the jaw’s width is measured properly.
Measuring Jaw Width
The jaw width is called the bigonial width. It is essentially the distance between the two gonions of the jaw. If you look at the front of a person’s face and note how wide their jaw is, that’s essentially the bigonial width you see.
There’s a difference between skeletal bigonial width and total jaw width. The total jaw width will also depend on how much soft tissue is involved. An upfront look at another person shows you the bigonial width and any soft tissue added on.
For skeletal bigonial width, the average value is 96 ± 7mm in males. For females, it is smaller, at 90 ± 7mm. Naturally, the skeletal bigonial width will be a tad bit smaller than the measurement with soft tissue. Skeletal bigonial width is not what you would use to measure your jaw in real life.
For bigonial width with soft tissue, the average is 106 ± 7mm in men and 98 ± 7mm in women. These results are consistent with Leversha et al. (2016) ‘s study on the age and gender correlation between the gonial angle, bigonial width, and ramus height. The study found that women were more likely to have smaller bigonial widths than men.
The jaw is also a sexually dimorphic trait where men have larger jaws, and women have more petite jaws. Social expectations over the years dictate the same thing. For women to exude femininity, they need to have softer edges and a more tapered chin. Men, on the other hand, have more square shapes, especially in the jaw area.
The Perfect Jaw
There is no perfect jaw in and of itself. A good normal jaw would be nothing if paired with incorrect proportions throughout the face. However, certain proportions make a good jaw.
Theoretically, the jaw width should be around 80-85% of your bizygomatic width to be ideal.
There are also certain situations wherein facial deformities contribute to why someone does not have an average or “normal” jaw.
One example is hemimandibular hyperplasia. This asymmetry occurs when one side of the mandible is way too large. Though the growth is more vertical, the enlargement of the mandible is a three-dimensional process. Someone who has hemimandibular hyperplasia will have a side of the face that looks much wider than the other. These asymmetries could range from minor to a bit obvious ones.
Another one is hemimandibular elongation. This type of asymmetry is the total opposite of hemimandibular hyperplasia. Instead of growing excessively in a vertical direction, with hemimandibular elongation, the growth is mostly a horizontal asymmetry. This disarray will result in a face that favors one side more than the other.
The asymmetry of the face could also be a mixture of the two. It’s not limited to one or the other. There are certain instances when excessive growth is both dominantly horizontal and vertical. Again, even though the excess is vertical, horizontal, or both, the mandible growth is three-dimensional. It will continue to grow that way, just with a predisposition to one side.
How to Make Your Jaw Look Better
Fortunately, even if you were not born with the greatest jaw, there are ways to make it look better.
Mewing is one of the best approaches to making changes with your jaw. Essentially, it is just exercising proper oral posture at all times, even when asleep. The process will exert force on your upper jaw and expand your palate, bringing your jaw up and forward. Constant continuous force over a long period of time is the only thing that can change bones. The aesthetic effects of mewing are entirely positive. Your face will look more angular and much better proportioned.
If done from a young enough age, you might be able to get rid of a recessed-looking chin and bring your face forward. However, mewing only works with persistence and dedication. It could take months to years to see tangible results in your face. So if you are looking for a quick fix, mewing is not the answer.
Regardless, I still recommend mewing for all the health benefits that you can gain from it.
One thing to note about mewing is that it works best on younger people. The way mewing can change your jaw is to influence growth. When growth slows down, it will become more difficult to affect the face and how it changes. That said, mewing as an adult is possible, but it will take a lot more time, and the changes you get will be so tiny as to be unnoticeable. For a more detailed explanation of mewing, head on over to our ultimate guide.
One disclaimer, though, mewing cannot fix actual skeletal problems with your jaw, such as the ones mentioned before. If your jaw or chin is too small, mewing will not create new bone. Mewing can influence growth in the right direction, but it cannot just change the entire shape of your jaw.
Dermal fillers are a great non-invasive way to correct asymmetries. Fillers have been gaining a lot of traction lately because they are easy, not as invasive as surgery, and have great results.
Most fillers today use hyaluronic acid, a component that you can find naturally in the body. Hyaluronic acid is appealing because the body already produces it, and it’s easy to handle. Most fillers are also reversible if the patient does not like how their face looks after the treatment.
Unfortunately, fillers have several downsides. Mainly they break down over time and would need consistent maintenance. So if you are looking for long-term effects, it could get expensive pretty easily. Also, fillers can migrate, and they’re not good at holding their shape. However, the convenience of fillers is the main reason behind the price you are paying. So if you can afford it, then it’s potentially worth a shot.
In conclusion, the jaw is an important part of the face. It can be a huge determinant of how attractive you are or how good you look in the eyes of other people.
But there is no average width in the sense that you have to have an average width for an attractive face. Instead of thinking about your jaw as one piece, think of it as a part of the whole. It works together with your other features to create harmony.