Receding Chin Repair for Someone Under 18?

My 15-year-old son has a receding chin. He hates it a lot and we don't really want to do surgery on it unless it is the only way to fix it. He is still young so I'm hoping it will grow out by the time he is 18. He usually sleeps with his mouth open at night. If he tries to sleep with his mouth closed, would that allow the chin to grow normally preventing a receding chin? Are there any other ways to fix this while he is still young?

Doctor Answers 9

Receding Chin Repair for Teenager

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Most chin augmentation  as well as rhinoplasty procedures are done on adults when final chin growth is finished. However in certain cases of malocclusion and undergrowth that is severe a chin augmentation may be warranted The reason we recommend waiting is to not intefere with potential growth which can cause deformity as well  as to have a long term predictable result. Sleeping with his mouth open or shut should not influence overall growth.

Receding Chin

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Yes, you could wait, but it seems that your son, who is nearly an adult, may need work on his chin at some point anyway, so you could have a chin implant performed now, or wait until later. Summer can be a perfect time for a procedure like this, as he'd have the rest of the season to get used to his new look before school starts again in the fall. Many of my NJ chin implant patients select that time of year. After high school graduation might be a good time, before he enters college, but it sounds as if he's urging you to remedy this problem before then. It's unlikely that, at 15, his chin will "grow" significantly over the next few years before he reaches full physical maturity.

In terms of mouth breathing, there could be several reasons why he’s a mouth breather, such as enlarged adenoids, enlarged tonsils, which would cause this. As a practicing ENT here in New Jersey, I see this often. The next step, in my mind, would be to see an ENT about the mouth breathing and perhaps a facial plastic surgeon as well, so you can understand what's going on before you make any steps towards any kind of surgery. If you can find a physician who is both an ENT and a facial plastic surgeon you can likely get the information you're seeking from one physician rather than seeing two different ones.

Laurence M. Milgrim, MD
Teaneck Facial Plastic Surgeon

Options for correcting a receding chin

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With respect to the receding chin, there are multiple issues going on here. The receding chin can be augmented with a chin implant, but it is probably best to wait until he is 18. If he is sleeping with his mouth open, that indicates that he may have a deviated septum and will require nasal internal breathing surgery such as a septoplasty. If his teeth are not fitting appropriately together, consideration for mandibular osteotomies can be made, along with orthodontia. Mandibular osteotomies are performed by oral surgeons, who are quite adept at performing this procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Not that simple

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The receeding or weak chin may be due to underdevelopment of the chin itself, or due to an underdeveloped jay, or teeth that don't come together properly. The fact that he always sleeps with the mouth open leads me to suspedt that his facial bones may not be in good proportion and a receeding chin is what you notice as a result.

Rather than suggest surgery, I suggest you get a full evaluation of the facial structures with X-rays. The specific name is "cephalometric" evaluation, and is usually done by an oral surgeon.

Althoug more growth can be expected, at age 15, most growth has occured. It is best to treat this sooner than later.


Receding chin in a 15 year old male.

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Your son may have retrognathia, which could cause a weak chin, mouth breathing, and malocclusion of his teeth.

You should consider consultation with a board-certified oro-maxillo-facial surgeon for a definitive diagnosis and treatment options. ENT consultation could be helpful as well, since there is mouth breathing.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Chin Surgery for a 15 year young man

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I agree with your timing concern. I like to delay chin augmentation in man until 17 years of age, better 18. Most commonly, we discuss this issue in conjunction with rhinoplasty.

But first, a correct diagnosis has to be done. Does your son has an appropriate tooth alignment (occlusion) or is there an over-bite? If this is the case (and this may explain why he is sleeping with his mouth open), then a more complex jaw distraction/ realignment may be a preferred option. Your dentist may have mentioned this already.

The chin will probably not grow more when he is forced to sleep with his mouth closed.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Your son should have a consult with an oral surgeon or Plastic surgeon who performs orthonathic surg

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Your son sounds like he would benefit from surgery of the jaw. A complete analysis by a Oral Surgeon or a Plastic surgeon who preforms such surgery should be able to give a complete analysis of the upper and lower jaws to see what correction would give him not only a cosmetic but a functional result. This type of surgery should be covered by your insurance. I think you will be delighted to find out what great results your son can have.

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Get orthodontic evaluation for receding chin

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Evaluation of the relationship between the upper and lower jaws needs to be established before deciding on treatment. It is possible the the entire jaw is set back too far and would benefit from advancement. This would require orthodontic pre-surgical treatment and a large operation. Clearly this is complicated and expensive.

Formal surgery for a week chin includes a genioplasty (sliding the bone of the chin forward after cutting it) or placement of a chin implant. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Your plastic surgeon can discuss these with you.

Finally, a temporary fix would be injection of a filler such as Restylane. This would give everyone the benefit of seeing what the augmented chin looks like without committing to something more permanent. In a 15 year old, this is worth of consideration because of the psychologic issues involved.

I very much like video imaging. This is free and gives a good representation of what an operation can do.

Receding chin

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I would first make sure that your son does not have any abnormalities of the jaw that would require orthognathic surgery to correct. If his jaw is the problem, not just his chin, then the obvious solution is to correct the jaw and restore proper alignment of his teeth as well. However, if the jaw is otherwise normal, and he is found to have a retrusive chin (small chin), then this can be augmented. You should allow his facial skeleton to mature and complete growth (typically age 18) prior to considering chin augmentation. Your option for chin augmentation include genioplasty (surgically moving the chin forward) or by using an implant of some type.

Unfortuntately, forcing his mouth closed at night will not alter his chin growth, in fact, his open mouth breathing at night may be a reflection of his jaw anatomy.

Nirav Savalia, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 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.