What Nerve Is At Risk In Jawline Reduction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I`m interested in jawline reduction, and I have some questions regarding this procedure. I have read that there is a risk of damaging the facial nerve during this procedure. How high would you say that this risk is? And should it happen, will it be possible to repair the damage afterwards? Is the risk smaller if the reduction doesn`t involve the angle, but the bone between the chin and the angle?

A: The nerve that is at risk for potential injury during jawline reduction is not the facial but the mental nerve. The facial nerve is a motor nerve which controls facial movements while the mental nerve is a branch of the trigeminal nerve which is responsible for feeling of the lower lip and chin. It is at risk for injury, not during jaw angle reduction, but in reducing the bone between the chin and the angle. This is where the nerve exits out of the bone at the mental foramen. The nerve is most frequently injured due to it being stretched which can largely recover on its own. This causes some numbness of the lip and chin which may be  temporary or some of it could be permanent.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana