The jawline is one of the most important components of the face. Many attribute jawline development to genes and bone structure. But those are not the only things that affect the growth of the jaw.
Genetics plays a role in jawline development, but not as much as we think. The muscles and forces surrounding the jaw are very critical factors. Proper oral posture is also necessary for achieving an ideal jawline.
For both men and women, a beautiful jawline enhances the face by a mile. Many famous actors and models today have excellently-carved jawlines. While there are procedures today to achieve a better jawline, how the jaw develops in the first place is crucial.
Plus, it’s not only genetics that lends a hand. If you had parents or come from a family of people with excellent jawlines, that may help. But generally, the biggest factor to an excellent jawline is development.
There are many habits in our growth phase that are worth shaking off. The thing is that most of these occur while we are still children or in our teens, and getting a child to do anything is an uphill battle. Thus, early prevention of bad oral habits is crucial in attaining a good jawline. Of course, you can still do something about it as an adult.
We know that the mandible is the bone that forms your lower jaw. The jawline is not just a line that forms on our faces. It is an actual part of the mandible called the inferior border. This part, together with the ramus and the gonial angle, creates the impression of a jawline.
The prominence of the jawline is not due to just the bone structure. The soft tissues that surround the jaw are equally important. You could have a very well-placed jaw, but it would mean very little if soft tissue like fat covers the bone.
The gonial angle of the jaw is where the ramus meets the inferior border. This angle is what creates that sharp edge below your ear. The gonial angle’s normal values are 126 degrees in men and 128 degrees in women (Bhatia et al., 1993). Anything 5-6 degrees more or less from those values is acceptable as well.
Take a look at this example of an indistinct inferior border. You’ll notice that the undefined appearance of the inferior border is characteristic of chubby people. Many people who have chubby faces also have hidden jawlines. Also, people with improper bites (overbite/underbite) are also prone to having jawlines that are not prominent or ideal.
What Influences Jawline Development?
We already know what comprises the jawline. But aside from genetics, what other factors are present in influencing jawline development?
You are not supposed to breathe through your mouth. The ideal way of breathing should be through your nose.
When you develop the habit of mouth breathing, your jaw’s negative effects will compound over the years. For one, you’ll have a recessed chin and a set-back jaw. This type of jaw will result in an undesirable droopy appearance.
Take a look at the image below. You’ll see that when mouth breathing becomes a habit, the gonial angle also increases. This increase will result in an elongated face that will not flatter the rest of your facial features. It also contributes to how prominent the interior border will be.
It’s important to start breathing properly from childhood. Children could be born with excellent jaw placement and ruin all that through their mouth breathing habits. This is why many treatments focus on children since they will be more effective during the child’s growth phase.
However, breathing through the nose is not effective if you are opening your mouth the entire time. Proper breathing requires the person to seal their lips and breathe through their nose alone. Of course, you can’t do this all the time, and there will be situations where you can’t help, but mouth breathe. However, it should not be normal, and humans can nose breathe even during intense cardio. Your nasal tissue can actually adapt to increased airflow requirements.
Proper Oral Posture
Proper oral posture is necessary for achieving good oral health. The appropriate oral posture is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth at all times. Proper posture will facilitate the expansion of the upper palate. It will also help the maxilla (upper jaw) move forward and create a better jawline appearance.
Not only that, proper oral posture is instrumental in avoiding other dental problems such as malocclusions and bite problems.
You’ll see how important oral posture is in some of the treatment methods for malocclusions. Take, for example, the Myobrace. It’s essentially a mouthpiece that will help correct crooked teeth. The Myobrace requires the user to place their tongue in a certain position for the tool to work. Creating the right oral habits is instrumental in the success of the Myobrace.
Why Do I Have Problems With My Jawline?
Aside from your bone structure, the soft tissue in your face could accumulate and give your jawline a weak impression. People who have double chins also have chubby jaws. Most of the time, they don’t have a prominent jawline. Instead, people with excess fat will have fewer angles and a fuller face.
Conversely, there are also situations when the jaw is too prominent. This prominence may have to do with the jaw’s size (bone structure) or facial muscle issues.
One of the major things that can contribute to the lack of a jawline is weight. If you are not at your optimum weight, you need to read our article on shredding fat. You’ll notice dramatic changes with your jawline during the weight loss process.
However, some people just can’t seem to lose weight in their face. That could be due to excess water retention in their body or naturally full cheeks.
The masseter muscles are primarily responsible for aiding us with chewing. Some people will have naturally bulky masseters. Some will have bulky masseters due to excessive chewing. In any case, having masseters that jut out too much will make your face look boxy. Since you want a prominent jawline, you need to make sure your masseters aren’t the problem.
Masseter muscles are especially a problem in women. Generally, women will have slimmer jaws, and they taper down more. Compared to a man’s jaw, women’s jaws should not be as square.
What Can I Do About My Jawline?
First off, you need to start practicing proper oral posture. If you are still in your teens, this may work really well for you. However, if you already well into your adult years, it may not make significant changes.
For more info on proper oral posture, visit our complete guide.
If you’re past the age of 25, you can still practice good oral posture for the other benefits, just don’t expect it to do wonders for your jaw. In any case, or no matter what age you are, try consulting with a dentist to fix your jaw. In many cases, problems with the jaw are because of dental issues. You may be able to resolve your problem through orthodontic means.
If that does not work for you, you can try fillers or botox. Botox for the masseters works particularly well. Botox will temporarily paralyze or limit function to a muscle. Since the masseters are muscles, you can help reduce their size through botox.
Dermal fillers are also a great option. They are non-invasive; however, they could be expensive in the long run. Individual fillers may not be expensive in and of themselves, but getting them done repeatedly can quickly stack up in cost.
Overall, making changes to your jaw will also help in accentuating your jawline. The two go together and elevate your facial appearance in more ways than one.