Receded Chin Causes, Images, Correction and Exercises

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What is a receding chin? What causes it? What are some of the corrections ways including surgeries? Can hairstyles and exercise help people with this problem?

Meaning and is it ugly

Receding chin refers to a smaller, shorter and a backward retreated chin. When compared to a normal one, it is less prominent and this makes your facial contours to look so unnatural. Furthermore, the mouth tends to appear protruded (especially your upper lip) making one look dull and inelegance. In extreme cases, a short chin can make it difficult to close your mouth.

identifying it: symptoms and signs

How can you tell you have a recessed chin? What are some of the signs, symptoms or characteristics should you look for? It is very easy, just look at some of the below characteristics:

  • Shaded and deep wrinkles around your mouth
  • Temporomandibular sounds and aches
  • No clear neck and chin contour
  • A short, narrower and smaller one
  • Protruded upper lip

Since beauty is the eyes of the beholder, we cannot conclude that it is ugly. Some people find nothing wrong with it. However, there are those who do not like a chin that is receded and would prefer to go for a correctional surgery.

What causes it

‘Why is my chin receded? It is ugly and I do not like it’ I once heard someone complaining. Well, there are a number of causes that include:

Congenital defects and problems

A receded chin can be a problem that someone is born with i.e. the lower jaw and chin growth gets affected even before a child is born.  One of the common cause of congenital cases is micrognathia where someone has a smaller lower jaw when compared to the upper jaw. A shorter lower jaw (mandible) will definitely make the chin smaller and recessed.

Furthermore, any trauma that affects fetus bone growth can also lead to mandibular hypoplasia or recessed lower jaw. Congenital defects are the most common cause and it is possible to end up with this problem and an underdeveloped jaw as well as “bite that is off”

A congenital case can be on its own or come with other defects such as Pierre Robin syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Trisomy 13, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, Trisomy 18, Marfan syndrome, Jacobsen syndrome, Stickler syndrome, etc.

Active case

Although quite rare, there are instances of people showing symptoms at adolescent. This has been associated with a number of diseases and conditions that include “chronic temporomandibular joint disorders which cause regression of the lower jaw” [], arthritis affecting lower jaw or temporomandibular joint or hemimandibulectomy, a cancer treatment where a part of your mandible is removed.

It has been noted that problems such as teeth crowding as well as wrong teeth position often happen to people with a small chin.  Furthermore, people with this can also have a double chin problem just like any other person could.

In baby

 As we have seen while covering causes, congenital defects are the common cause of a recessed chin. This means that a baby can be born with a shorter, smaller and backward one.

If you are a mother of a baby with this problem. You need to know that a recessed chin can make breastfeeding cumbersome with some mothers ending up with breast nerve damages. Some of the good breastfeeding ideas include breastfeeding while the baby is on the football hold, ensuring a correct ‘latch on position’, use a breast pump and so on.


To clearly see how a short chin looks like, we have included a few photos or pictures. One picture below and a few more in this article, including before and surgery after pictures.

Correction, how to fix it or surgery

Having this feature can diminish one’s facial appeal, reduce self-esteem as well as mentally perturb the affected. In this section, we are doing to discuss corrections or how to fix it.

Treat underlying cause

The first way to fix it is by treating what could be causing it. If it is a disease, go for diagnosis and treatment. This option is good for people who suffer from active chin recession (one that comes later in life, especially during the adolescent stage.


This is the most common correction, especially when caused by a congenital problem that cannot be treated. You need to discuss with an orthognathic surgeon since he or she will be in the best position to deal with your problem. The common surgical operation includes:

1. Mandibular advancement or Maxillomandibular advancement

Mandibular advancement happens when “bone growth is stimulated with the application of external forces over the corticotomized site” []. You will have an oral device or braces surgically mounted on your mandible that will gradually distract and stimulate bone growth. Engage both your orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon for advice on this procedure.

2. Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy

This involves splitting and repositioning the lower jaw and moving it forward to make the chin to look normal. It is often recommended to people whose lower jaw is also recessed. This procedure is also known as the sliding genioplasty and titanium plate might be used.

3. Mentoplasty

Mentoplasty “refers to correcting defects/deformities or altering the mandibular contour—e.g., removing fat, implanting silicone or other prostheses” []. It is good for people whose lower jaw is the normal size and a smaller chin is their only problem.

If you opt for a recessed chin implant, you need to know that they are not a permanent but far much less expensive option.

Hairstyles to hide it

If you do not want to go for surgical corrections, you could play around with makeup use as well as hairstyles that will create a facial balance and reduce its small appearance.

If you opt for hairstyles, the aim any of the hairstyles is to create a center of attraction away from the chin as well as try to create a facial balance. Some of the good hairstyle to try to include the ones shown in pictures below:

Men can try full beard, sideburns, and chinstraps as well as goatee in addition to hairstyles to try to hide it.


Some people may be considering exercises to make chin longer. Unfortunately, since it is a problem that has something to do with your mandibles, there are no exercises that can help not unless you also have a double chin i.e. according to Paul S. Nassif, MD, Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon “Unfortunately, there are no exercises that can help improve”

Sources and references
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