Over Developed Mastication Muscles

Masseter muscles, located on both sides of the jaw is the strongest muscle used in mastication (chewing). Due to excessive chewing, teeth grinding and jaw clenching and sometimes due to certain illnesses the inheritable factors such as face shape, this muscle may over develop, causing the jaw to appear larger and gives the patient a sterner facial expression.

Masseter muscle can be felt with touch on both sides of the jaw when clenching. As this muscle develops and grows, the jaw bone also gets affected, usually bent outwards. In those cases the jawbone tends to extend outwards like an upside down wing, which can easily be seen during a 3D CET scan. When these muscles and bones are overdeveloped, they may appear visibly on both sides of the jaw even when relaxed, which may give the patient’s jaw a boxy profile, giving the square face type.. This appearance may cause an unwanted look and masculine appearance for women more than men.

As treatment, some portion of this muscle as well as the tip of the jaw bone can be surgically removed under general anesthesia with special techniques by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. With the removal of over developed muscle tissue and bone, the patient’s facial profile may lose the boxy appearance for a more aesthetically ideal triangular profile. Another goal of this operation is to treat excessive jaw clenching and teeth grinding, in order to prevent any damage to teeth or gum tissue. One of the advantages of this operation is to provide a kinder and softer facial profile, especially for women.

How is this operation performed?

As muscles tissues thicken, they may also cause the jawbone to thicken as well.  In those cases, the jaw bone area where masseter muscle is attached to must be reshaped and thinned to achieve a more aesthetically ideal appearance. These operations are performed under anesthesia and the area is reached through the mouth, leaving no visible marks on the face. Patients feel no pain during the operation as they are under anesthesia. During the surgery, the operation area is accessed through the mouth and gum tissue, and a partial portion of the muscle facing the mouth is removed. Jaw bone can also be thinned via special techniques, if deemed necessary. As the operation is performed from inside the mouth, no visible marks or scars are made on the outside of the face.

This operation may allow the face to have a softer contour and may result with pleasant and aesthetic improvements.

During surgery, the operation may not end with the thinning of the masseter muscle, which consists of 3 major layers, these layers are surface, deep and middle layers where on the top they are attached to the cheekbones and below they are attached to the edge of jawbones. In areas where the masseter muscle is attached to the jawbone, the bone may thicken and develop bone tissue that looks like upside down wings. These may require trimming and removal of bone tissue with special techniques.