When you look at a female and male mandible, it may not be easy to see the differences between the two immediately.
Some differences between male and female mandibles include thickness, length, shape, angle, etc. However, there is some room for those features to vary as each person’s mandible is unique.
The Male and Female Mandible: What’s the Difference?
Typically, we can often guess whether a skeleton is male or female by looking at the pelvic bone. However, other bones, including the mandible, differ in their characteristics, so the male and female mandible will have different features.
One study looks into the differences between male and female mandibles (Azhari et al., 2019). The study noted that the mandibular length between men and women was rather significant, with males having greater mandibular length than females. The study also notes a difference between men’s and women’s increase in mandibular length growth. Women tend to experience an increase in growth earlier than men. However, males will still tend to have longer mandibles than women.
Another study shows that the parameters used in their study only gave about 60% accuracy when determining the sex of the mandible (Sharma et al., 2016). The accuracy percentage may be because males can still have pointed chins, females can have squarer chins, etc.
But why does the mandible matter when determining the sex of a skeleton? Most researchers look into this because the mandible is the most sexually dimorphic skull bone, which helps determine gender. Additionally, the mandible tends to resist post mortem changes, so it is of prime importance when determining the skeleton’s sex.
Male Mandible Characteristics
The male mandible often features a larger, squarer chin. Each man’s chin shape can differ, but male chins tend to be much squarer than females. The area around the gonial angle can be flared in more extreme cases.
The gonial angle of the male is formed by the ascending ramus and body of the mandible. The angle for males is around 130 degrees, but closer to 90 degrees than women are. As for gonial eversion, males often have rugose muscle attachments curving outward, everting from the mandible’s surface.
The ramus of the male jaw is noticeably more vertical. That may be why a typical image of a masculine jaw features a sharp, vertical ramus.
Female Mandible Characteristics
The overall female’s skull tends to have smoother bone surfaces and angles. For instance, the gonial angle tends to be more obtuse for women. Of course, women can have squarer chins and jaw angles (as seen in some models), but it is more common to see slightly rounder jaw angles.
The gonial angle of women tends to be greater. Most women have a gonial angle that is up to 140 degrees. Females have less gonial eversion, and it may invert towards the midline.
As for the chin, female chins tend to be more pointed and/or rounded. Many females, especially if they have an oval face shape, have jaws that taper from the jaw angle to the chin.
Can You Tell What Race Someone Is by Looking at Their Mandible?
The mandible tends to vary based on race. There is some room for error since everyone is different. However, some noticeable factors can help determine someone’s race by analyzing their mandible.
- For example, let’s say that we put an Asian mandible onto a flat surface. The bottom of the Asian mandible will likely keep contact with the surface all the way around.
- The gonions of an Asian mandible tend to curve sharply. On the other hand, Caucasian and African jawbones tend to rise and fall along the lower border.
- African mandibles often have slightly curved gonion, whereas Europeans often have flatter edges.
- Another example would be how an African mandible tends to protrude more than an Asian and European mandible. Again, it can vary for each person, but it is more likely that an African mandible may protrude from the rest of the face.
What Is the Ideal Male Mandible?
As mentioned earlier, the ideal male mandible would be Robert Pattinson’s mandible. However, his mandible suits his face (which is already well-proportioned), so it may not suit everyone.
For instance, Sean O’Pry has an ideal mandible. His jaw is huge, but his overall head and features are wide, so it works for him. Additionally, the angles and shape of his jaw are nearly perfect.
A male’s ideal jaw proportions have a ratio of 5:7 ramus to mandibular body length, a facial angle of 90-92 degrees, a mandibular plane angle of 26 degrees, a bigonial width of 99-113 millimeters, and a gonial angle of fewer than 125 degrees.
Click here to learn more about the ideal jaw proportions for men.
What Is the Ideal Female Mandible?
The ideal gonial angle for women is 122 ± 4 degrees and a mandible height of 43.4 mm. However, it does not have to be this exact; most women can get away with almost any mandible size and shape as long as it is in harmony with the rest of their face.
The ideal female mandible can range from the smooth, even jawline of Bella Hadid to a dainty and narrow mandible like Scarlett Johansson. However, some women sport stronger jawlines that still look good.
For instance, Angelina Jolie has a somewhat square jaw shape, which flatters her because of her overall facial proportions. Additionally, she has a well defined yet slightly soft chin that keeps her looking feminine. It would also be important to note that her other facial features (lips, eyes, etc.) are very feminine.
Click here to learn more about the ideal jaw proportions for women.
Facial Analysis of Different Mandibles
Robert Pattinson is considered “the most beautiful man in the world” based on the golden ratio’s standards. The golden ratio focuses on the face’s ideal measurements, and Robert Pattinson’s measurements were nearly perfect.
His jaw was one of the most notable features when analyzed for the golden ratio. The jaw is clearly well-proportioned and chiseled, with a well defined gonial angle that helps him look good from the front and side profile.
Pete Davidson has a sharp jaw that comes to a point. It tends to be more triangle-like compared to a typical male mandible. However, his overall jaw size and gonial angle make him retain a masculine look.
Henry Cavill was a close second, right behind Robert Pattison when it came to the golden ratio. When we think of the comic book Superman, we often think of the well-defined and masculine jaw, and Henry Cavill clearly embodies the real-life Superman.
Compared to other celebrities with square jaws, like Zac Efron, Henry Cavill’s is not “too in your face.” His neck width perfectly complements his mandible, and he has a slightly tapered chin that adds more definition to his jaw.
Zac Efron has a very notable jaw. It is square with a somewhat large chin. However, his jaw tends to look better when he is fit because it gets round and soft when he gains weight.
Bella Hadid has an oval face shape. The oval face shape is ideal for most women because it features a soft yet defined jaw, like Bella Hadid’s jaw. Bella Hadid’s mandible softly tapers toward her chin. Her mandible has a perfect balance of structure and femininity.
Her side profile adds more to the emphasis of an ideal mandible. She has an ideal gonial angle for women, being sharp without too overbearing.
Beyonce also has an oval face shape, but her face is longer, and her jaw tapers a bit more towards the chin than Bella Hadid’s jaw. However, her face cannot be considered a heart shape because her facial measurements are almost equal, meaning she has an oval face shape.
Beyonce’s mandible is in complete balance with her face. She has a well-defined face that still has soft features, making her look strong yet feminine.
Scarlet Johansson has a delicate yet structured heart-shaped face with a narrow jaw and pointed chin. Many people find this to be an excellent face shape for women, particularly because of the mandible.
Procedures to Enhance Jaw Shape
Dermal fillers can be injected into the jaw to make it look larger and create a defined separation between the neck and jawline. It is an ideal option for people with weak jaws that want a minimally invasive procedure. It is also a quick way to fix an asymmetrical jaw without undergoing surgery.
Most dermal fillers are made out of natural ingredients. However, these natural ingredients tend to metabolize in your body, decreasing in size over time. You can expect most dermal fillers to last for 6-12 months, and you would need to get more dermal fillers if you want to maintain your new jaw shape.
In some cases, a jaw filler can help give you a sharper angle. However, you may need to manage your expectations because a jaw filler can only add so much definition. Dermal fillers are made of soft materials, so they are more likely to add volume than projection and definition.
You can get jaw implant surgery to enhance the projection and volume of your jaw area. The implants are typically put by the chin or under the ear. It can correct a small or receding jaw. Implants are ideal for people who want definition and sharper lines. Plus, implants’ permanence makes it more convenient for most people if they do not want to get jaw fillers regularly.
Most jaw implants are made out of silicone, which gets specially molded to suit your needs. The surgeon will secure the implants into targeted areas of your mandible to help you get the projection, volume, and definition that you want.
The downside of implants is that you will have to recover for a few weeks. You also have to deal with some side effects, including facial bruising, swelling, numbness, etc.
Orthognathic surgery can move the upper and/or lower jaw forward or backward. For instance, you can have your chin and/or mandible pulled forward if you have a recessed mandible. On the other hand, you may want to have your mandible pulled back if your mandible is too far forward.
Needless to say, this is an extreme option but produces some of the best results.
Jaw Reduction Surgery
Jaw reduction surgery is a term for procedures that make the jaw smaller. It is also popularly known as V-line surgery, jaw contouring, jaw shaving, etc. Each procedure will differ for each patient, depending on the desired result.
Most jaw reduction surgeries remove parts of the bone from the mandible to reshape it. In some cases, the surgeon will shave the jaw bone down to create a more defined shape. A surgeon can reshape the bone from the back (ramus) and the front (chin).
Most jaw reduction surgeries can be considered facial feminization surgery because smaller jaws are a more feminine trait. However, men with overly square jaws can get jaw reduction surgery to make their jaws less pronounced while still looking masculine.
Not everyone has a large jaw because of their mandible size. In some cases, people may have a larger mandible because they have big masseter muscles.
Botox injections can help relax overly large and stressed masseter muscles, making them relax and shrink. Another bonus is that Botox injections could help relieve teeth grinding and pain caused by conditions like TMD.
Botox injections can complement another surgery. For instance, a patient may have a pronounced lower jaw with large masseter muscles. They may get a jaw reduction surgery and Botox injections to slim down the mandible.