How to Reshape your Jawline – Without Surgery


Excessive chewing of food, habitual jaw clenching and grinding of teeth all tend to overwork the jaw muscles – which can create a masculine appearance and square jawline.  Fortunately this can be treated with botulinum toxin injections. By Dr Anushka Reddy

A gentle V-shaped jawline is a definitive characteristic of beauty that is well admired, as it makes women look more feminine and appear slimmer.  A more refined jaw even gives women the illusion of looking younger than they really are.  In comparison, having a more pronounced and square jaw line will not only make women think they look more masculine, but it can also make their face look unbalanced.

Now while some women are naturally born with an angular feature as a result of a genetic bone structure or enlarged mandible, there are others who develop this feature over a course of time.  This structure change of the face is due to the the jaw muscles or masseter muscles being overworked – either by excessive chewing of food and gum or by the habitual clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth – thus causing the face to appear bigger than it actually is with a square jaw.

Treatment modalities

Traditionally, surgical jaw reduction was the only way to treat square jawlines, where part of the mandible was removed to narrow the jaw.  Needless to say, this type of surgical procedure is painful and requires some serious downtime.  Fortunately however, seeking a treatment for masseter hypertrophy or square jaw line nowadays doesn’t have to involve pain or surgery anymore.

The non-invasive botulinum toxin injections are a very effective way to contour the jaw line by reducing the masseter shadow through the outer jaw skin, thereby giving the face a more delicate facial feature.  Botulinum toxin injections can additionally reduce the symptoms of jaw clenching or grinding of teeth at night by injecting it directly into the jaw muscle to help relax it.  This is because  it helps block nerve impulses to the masseter so that the masseter will gradually shrink, softening the appearance of the jaw line.

Treatment protocol, results

The procedure is quick, relatively painless, and requires no anesthesia or downtime.  It can be done during your lunch break and you can resume with your normal daily activities immediately after the procedure.

As for the results, these are instantly visible after treatment, and increases within 2-6 weeks after.  The effects normally last from 4 to 8 months, although in some cases, results may even last up to one year, depending on the individual.  For best results, I recommend repeating the treatment every 6 months.

That said however, it must be noted that botulinum toxin injections are only effective if your jaw is affected by prominent masseter muscles.  If the aesthetic concern is caused by the actual bone, then these injections will not help.  My advice therefore is to see an experienced and certified medical injector for a physical examination to obtain a better assessment of your concern. 

Take home message

Appearing feminine is about the appearance of the overall face, and has little to do with one specific facial feature.  As long as the overall features work well together and look ”feminine”, it’s still possible to have a pleasant appearance with a square jaw.  However, if you feel like your square jawline affects your self-esteem and every day life, non-invasive botulinum injections might be the answer for you.



A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, and should therefore not be taken as an endorsement or advertisement for any product or medical treatment –  nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice. 

Issue 23 – September 2017 (Spring)

This article was written by Dr Anushka Reddy and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine September Spring 2017 Edition (Issue 23). 

A2 Magazine prints only four magazines each year – reporting seasonally on everything you need and want to know about aesthetics, anti-ageing, integrative medicine, quality and medical skin care, cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic surgery in South Africa – where to go, who to see, what to expect, something new and so much more! Never miss an edition – click here for more info about where you can buy the print and/or digital copy of A2 Magazine (including back copies).

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About Author

Dr Anushka Reddy

Dr Anushka Reddy MBChB - Dr Anushka Reddy is the owner of Medi-Sculpt and the President of the South African Association of Cosmetic Doctors (SAACD). She regularly contributes to various publications and has also appeared on TV programs such as Carte Blanche Medical, Top Billing Eastern Mosaic, Maatband, CNBC Africa and Hello Doctor. Dr Reddy travels both locally and internationally to discover new techniques and products to fulfil her patients’ aesthetic wishes.

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