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Weak Chin: What Is It And How Can it Be Fixed

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Date: 15th February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 15th February 2024

A weak chin, receding chin, or recessive chin is a condition where your lower and upper jaw do not align properly, with the lower jaw being set back in comparison to the upper jaw. Oftentimes this is a cosmetic condition, but it can be related to other health concerns too. Below, we look at the causes of a weak chin, and the solutions to fix it including non-invasive options and surgery like chin implants and jaw surgery.

What is a Weak Chin?

Retrogenia is a condition known as a weak chin. In most people, the upper and lower jaw align properly, or the lower jaw may jut out a little in front. However, in the case of a weak chin, the lower jaw is typically set back compared to the upper jaw. This results in your chin being angled and set back compared to the upper part of your face. 

What Causes a Weak Chin?

There are numerous causes of a weak chin including:

  • Congenital conditions. 
  • Development of an overbite. 
  • Facial structure from birth.

Some people are simply born with a weak chin and it can disappear as your bones grow. However, depending on your bone and jaw structure, the condition may persist.

Indeed, your chin receding with age is a common occurrence too and people can develop an overbite. Additionally, as you age, your jawline can become less pronounced as part of the natural ageing process of your face.

Lastly, a weak chin can be the result of congenital conditions including Pierre Robin Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and Treacher Collins Syndrome. Congenital conditions often include additional complications and a weak chin can result in difficulties with breathing and eating in which case surgery is necessary. 

How Can You Prevent a Receding Chin?

As most people are born with a weak chin, there are few preventative measures. Some organisations promote specific chin exercises but the validity and effect of these is questionable at best. Controlling your weight can help, and men can grow beards to hide a weak chin, but the most effective weak chin treatment is surgery with procedures such as a neck lift, jaw surgery, chin implants, and genioplasty.

What are the Best Treatments for Fixing a Weak Chin?

Where lifestyle changes and non-invasive treatments have an impact with other conditions such as wrinkles under the eyes, they are less effective for weak chin treatment. Instead, orthodontics and surgery are the best weak chin treatments including:

  • Chin implants/augmentation. 
  • Fat Transfer. 
  • Genioplasty. 
  • Jaw surgery. 
  • Liposuction. 
  • Neck Lift. 

Can Lifestyle Changes Fix a Receding Chin?

Unlike other conditions associated with facial ageing, lifestyle changes have a minimal impact on a protruding chin. Eating a healthy diet and losing weight can improve the shape and structure of your chin, and men can hide a weak chin with the growth of a full beard. 

How Can Non-Invasive Treatments Fix a Weak Chin?

Due to the nature of a weak chin, there are few non-invasive treatments, instead, surgery is typically the best option to fix a weak chin. However, we have listed the common options below.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers using hyaluronic acid are one of the few non-invasive weak chin treatment options. During this short procedure, the fillers are injected into your chin and help to add volume and strengthen the appearance of your lower face, bringing it in balance with the upper section.

Typically, dermal filler sessions take just 30 minutes with no downtime. They yield great results and offer a quicker solution compared to surgery, but the downside is the effect is not permanent and repeat sessions may be needed over time. While Dermal Fillers can be effective, fat transfer represents the next step up from this with more pronounced end results.

Orthodontics

As discussed above, a recessive chin can be related to issues like an overbite or open bit. In these instances, orthodontics may be required and this is something you would examine with your dental surgeon. Orthodontic treatment can involve braces and dental retainers to alter the jaw shape and structure.


Are Surgical the Best Treatments to Get Rid of a Weak Chin?

Surgery is the best weak chin treatment if you want long lasting results and to correct underlying issues cause by a weak chin such as breathing problems or struggles with eating and chewing.

The benefit of weak chin surgery is the definitive end results and the instant correction of a receding chin. The downsides are the downtime resulting from the procedure, and the often lengthy recovery periods.

Chin Implants and Augmentation

Chin augmentation is one of the most common receding chin surgery and involves the insertion of chin implants to change the shape and structure of your lower face and correct conditions like a receding chin. The surgery typically takes between 1-1.5 hours, and you can expect to take up to 7 days off of work.

Full recovery is achieved after 4-6 weeks, and this weak chin treatment can be combined with other processes like fillers and rhinoplasty if the balance of your facial structure needs to be addressed.

Fat Transfer and Liposuction

Fat transfer is a procedure that involves removing your own fat from other areas of your body via liposuction, purifying it, and reinjecting it into your chin. This gives your weak chin volume and brings it’s shape more in line with your upper face.  The surgery typically takes less than an hour, you may only need a few days off of work, and the full recovery period is expected to be one week.

Genioplasty

Sliding genioplasty is another common surgical technique to correct a weak chin. During this procedure, a surgical incision is made at the base of your gumline inside your mouth so that the surgeon can access your chin bone and reshape and reposition it. Genioplasty refers to a group of procedures including: chin advancement (bringing the chin forward), chin reduction (moving the chin back), and chin contouring to achieve a more harmonious profile.

In the case of a weak chin once the chin bone has been brought forward and repositioned, it is secured in place with small metal plates. It can also be contoured at this point to achieve optimal results.

This is a more extensive procedure, and you will be put under general anaesthetic. However, this is the best option for correcting move pronounced weak chins and has the benefit of leaving no visible external scarring on your chin or neck.

Jaw Surgery

Depending on the underlying condition, jaw surgery could be the best option to correct a weak chin. It is often used when the weak chin is causing issues with breathing and eating, or causing speech impediments, for example.

During this procedure, the jaw is separated, repositioned, and resecured to create a more balanced upper and lower jaw and thus correcting a weak chin. Jaw surgery is one of the most intricate options and the recovery period is much longer compared to procedures like a neck lift or chin augmentation.

Neck Lift

A neck lift can be used to fix a weak chin and is often used in combination with other procedures such as a facelift and liposuction to enhance the overall end results. During this procedure, also known as a lower rhytidectomy, excess fat on the neck and jaw is removed, and your chin is effectively reshaped and defined to combat the appearance of a weak chin. 

Weak Chins in Men

When looking at weak chin treatment, it’s important to understand the difference between men and women in terms of the desired outcome. With women, it’s typically desired to create a softer, more overall shape for the face and chin, and a smooth neckline.

In contrast, the ideal facial structure of a man is seen to include a sharp chin, contoured neck, and well-defined jawline. This can mean the exact surgical procedures to combat a weak chin can differ for men and women. 

Surgery is the Best Weak Chin Treatment for Men and Women

As weak chins are typically genetic and the result of your jaw structure from birth, the most effective treatments are surgical. Controlling your weight can also complement the structure of your chin, but procedures such as jaw surgery, chin implants, and genioplasty are the best options for long-lasting results.  

FAQs

Mandibular Retrognathia or a receding chin indicates that your lower jaw bone is not aligned properly with your upper jaw. Typically the lower jaw is aligned inwards either significantly or gradually which results in the appearance of a weak chin.

Weak chin treatment involves surgical procedures such as genioplasty, chin augmentation, fat transfer and liposuction, and neck lifts. Jaw surgery may also be used in more developed cases when the jaw has to be physically repositioned.

As we age, we can naturally lose tissue and bone around our lower jaw which means that a weak chin can become more pronounced over time. 


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