Can a buccal fat pad drop to the jowl?

Some years ago I had a wisdom tooth infection which had swollen my entire right cheek. After that, I believe, I am not sure to be honest, my buccal fat pad had dropped closer to my jowl. Is this possible? Also, when I gain weight, the extra volume is added to solely that fat pad; I can feel it and pinch it with my fingers as well. Also, if I lose weight, will the volume leave the pocket/fat pad? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Can a buccal fat pad drop to the jowl? = more likely jowl is dropping because of aging #buccalfat #jowl #buccalfatremoval

Buccal fat usually does't "drop" to the jowl area. When a jowl starts to show up or gets worst, it is usually because the normal aging process of the face. 

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Buccal fat - can it shift position after a dental infection

Thank you for asking about your buccal fat.

  • First of all, yes, if the fat enlarges with weight gain, it will shrink with weight loss.
  • It seems likely that the severe infection that you had either from swelling or damage to tissues, led to stretching and loosening of tissues and quite possibly, downward displacement of the buccal fat.
  • On the other hand, after any severe trauma - including infection - the body can react by forming fat in the area of injury as a 'protection' against future injury.
  • One would need to examine you to see if the fat deposit is buccal fat or post-traumatic fat.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Buccal fat

Great question.  As far as the infection is concerned, a wisdom tooth infection is unlikely to yield troubles to the buccal area secondary to the anatomy surrounding the tooth - that being said, if it had significant inflammation along dentition close to that infected tooth (closer to your molars and even premolars...which would be a pretty nasty infection) then it could potentially affect the buccal fat pad.  Buccal fat infections are NO FUN to deal with.  That being said, with inflammation of the surrounding tissue it can cause laxity of the mandibulo-cutaneous ligament, which can result in some laxity/jowl formation - my internet guess without seeing any pictures or examining you is that some element of this may have happened.  As far as gaining weight, some people do get hypertrophy to the buccal fat area - weight loss can lead to an improvement (particularly if you were able to gain volume in that area with weight gain), however I have had very very very few patients who have ever been happy with the amount of improvement in their contour after weight loss in regards to the buccal area.  Just talking honestly about my patients' personal experience.  Anyway, I hope this helps.  Best of luck. 

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.