Patients with congenital defects or deformities caused by trauma, infection, or disease are candidates for reconstructive surgery. In some cases, eyelift, rhinoplasty, and ear pinning are considered reconstructive surgery and may be reimbursable in whole or part by your insurance company. If you think you may be a candidate for reconstructive surgery, it is in your best interest to check with your insurance carrier prior to your facial reconstructive plastic surgery to determine possible coverage.
Square Face – Masseteric Hypertrophy
Historically, the shape for beauty and balance has been the triangle. This also holds true for the shape of the face, where a diamond or heart-shaped face has been found more attractive than a squared jaw one.
What is Square Face?
Masseteric hypertrophy is sometimes called “square face.” It is the enlargement of the masseter muscle at the angle of the jaw that gives you a more square-looking face or jaw. The masseter is one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It is used every single day for speaking and chewing food. When it becomes enlarged, hypertrophic, from excessive use, it can create an appearance that is sometimes considered unattractive, especially among women who perceive it makes them look too masculine.
What Causes Square Face?
Masseteric hypertrophy can develop from:
- Habitual chewing such as gums or nuts
- Anxious lifestyle, with nocturnal teeth grinding
- Being of Asian decent
An enlarged mandible, which is congenital, can also give an appearance labeled as “square face” but is different from masseteric hypertrophy and does not respond to the same treatments. In Asia, particularly Korean and Chinese populations, they have a shorter and wider faces that naturally have larger masseter muscles and broader bony jaw angles, making them appear more exaggerated and cosmetically more unacceptable.
Treatment for Square Face
Many people with masseteric hypertrophy have looked into procedures to reduce the angular appearance of their lower face. In the past, treatment for square face has involved surgical reduction or jaw sculpting. This is traumatic and carries a significant risk of injury to the salivary glands or facial nerves. Recovery time is prolonged, with swelling and discomfort that makes the procedure unattractive. However, a newer, non-invasive and non-surgical approach has been discovered to treat Masseteric Hypertrophy by using BOTOX® Cosmetic.
BOTOX® masseteric reduction causes the injected muscle to go to rest, temporarily reducing the size of the muscles and narrowing the jaw line. Over time, the muscle will atrophy and treatments may become unnecessary. Patients will lose the hard contour on the sides and notice more prominent cheekbones without the need for surgery. For people who are genetically prone to high cheekbones, such as Koreans and Japanese, the results can be quite dramatic.
Most patients prefer non-invasive, non-surgical procedures because the recovery time is quicker and the pain is milder and more tolerable. Therefore, many cosmetic surgeons, as well as Dr. Kim, use BOTOX® Cosmetic to help reduce the enlarged muscle. The neurotoxin is injected into the masseter and paralyzes it, which reduces the size of the muscle and narrows the jawline.
If you have more questions regarding masseteric hypertrophy and want reduce the appeaance of your square face, Georgia cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kim at Kim Facial Plastic Surgery would be delighted to discuss treatment options. Please contact us to schedule a personal consultation.