How can I tell if my chubby cheeks are caused by large jaw muscles or fats? (photos)

Doctor's Answers (2)

Dr Terence Goh

"Plastic Surgeon at AZATACA Plastic Surgery"

Thanks for your photos and questions! The photos that you have posted do not appear to show a strong a prominent bulging jaw, maybe a small hint of the jaw muscle. However, I can make out some cheek fullness. 

The master muscle (jaw muscle) sits just infront of your ears over the jaws. By clenching your teeth, you will be able to feel it and get an idea of how large the muscle is. Botox can be given to shrink this muscle. Certain actions like chewing of gum, grinding of teeth can cause the muscle to be hypertrophied or enlarged)

The buccal fat pad is located infront of this master muscle and just behind the corner of your lips. It gives a chipmunk appearance in individuals where the buccal fat is very pronounced and prominent. This can be removed via a small incision within the mouth and there is minimal downtime involved.

Occasionally, some individuals have fats in the cheek or mid face ,separate from what was mentioned above and these can only be removed by liposuction or repositioned to a higher position by a midcheek lift. 

I hope this answers your question. Have a great week ahead and all the best!

Best Regards,

Dr. Terence Goh

Plastic Surgeon

The information provided is purely for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice or create any physician/patient relationship. Results may vary between individuals.

One good method is to do the below :

1. Stand in front of a mirror.

2. Place the palms of your hands at the lower face, just in front of your ears and just above the jawline.

3. Clench your teeth 

Observe if there’s any muscle popping out into your palms when you do 3. See if that’s at the zone where the “chubbiness” is. 

If it corresponds to the area of the face which is making your face look wide and square, then we know botox jaw reduction will cause a significant face slimming effect!

If not, it’s due to chubby cheeks (buccal fats) as we call it. It’s unlikely due to fat pad descent which is present in older patients.

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