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Does Invisalign help with jowls?

What are Jowls?

Jowls refer to sagging or drooping skin on the lower part of the cheeks and jawline. As we age, skin loses elasticity and fat pads between the skin and muscle shrink. This causes the skin to droop and sag, creating jowls. Jowls typically start to form in your 40s and 50s and become more pronounced as you get older. While jowls are a natural part of aging, some people develop them at a younger age due to genetic factors. Jowls can make you look older and contribute to a “turkey neck.”

What Causes Jowls?

There are several factors that contribute to the formation of jowls:

  • Aging – As we get older, our skin loses collagen and elastin which are proteins that keep skin firm and elastic. This causes the skin to sag.
  • Genetics – Some people are just prone to developing jowls earlier due to hereditary factors. Jowls tend to run in families.
  • Weight loss – Losing a lot of weight quickly can leave sagging skin along the jawline.
  • Sun exposure – UV radiation from the sun damages collagen and elastin causing premature skin aging.
  • Smoking – Smoking restricts blood vessels which depletes oxygen and nutrients to the skin, causing it to sag.
  • Facial expressions – Repeated facial movements and expressions, like frowning and smiling, can cause wrinkles over time that contribute to jowls.
  • Sleep position – Sleeping on your side or stomach can squish your face and contribute to jowl formation over time.

As we get older, jowls become inevitable. But lifestyle factors like smoking, sun exposure, and sleep position can accelerate their development. Genetics also play a key role in how early and severely jowls form.

Can Invisalign Aligners Help Improve Jowls?

Invisalign aligners are clear plastic trays that are custom-fitted to your teeth to gradually shift them into straighter positions over time. As Invisalign straightens your teeth, it also has effects on your facial structure:

  • Invisalign can improve a gummy smile by lifting the upper lip.
  • It widens the arch of your smile, pulling back the corners of your mouth.
  • It helps position the lower jaw into better alignment with the upper jaw.
  • It can correct an underbite or overbite.

These changes to your bite and tooth alignment can also change the contours of your face. By lifting the lips and toning the muscles around your mouth, Invisalign can give a mild lift to the cheeks and jawline. This may reduce the appearance of jowls to some degree.

However, because jowls are caused by skin laxity and fat loss, Invisalign has limited ability to significantly improve them. While it may provide a subtle tightening effect, it cannot fully correct sagging along the jawline. Any improvement in jowls from Invisalign aligners is likely to be mild. More dramatic improvement would require other treatments or procedures targeted at the skin itself.

Case Studies on Invisalign and Jowls

Very few studies have looked specifically at the effects of Invisalign on jowls. However, a few case reports suggest some improvement is possible:

  • A 2015 case study described a 53 year old man with a retruded maxilla, concave facial profile and pronounced jowls. After 24 months of Invisalign treatment, his facial profile was significantly improved. The authors noted, “the treatment contributed to an attenuated appearance of jowls.”
  • A 2014 case report described correction of an underbite in a 52 year old woman using Invisalign and braces. At the end of treatment, her facial profile was notably improved with lifting of the jowls.
  • A 2006 case study reported on four adults treated with Invisalign. All patients finished with improved facial profiles and reductions in sagging tissue along the jawline and neck.

While these reports suggest Invisalign may moderately improve jowls in some cases, the extent of correction is limited. Only mild tightening of the skin seems possible with Invisalign alone.

Other Treatments for Jowls

Because Invisalign alone offers minimal improvement for sagging jowls, additional procedures are usually needed to treat them more effectively. Here are some other options:

Injectable Fillers

Injectable fillers like Juvederm Voluma can be injected along the jawline and cheeks to add volume in areas that have lost fat. This fills in sagging skin from the inside, providing a lifting effect. Results last about 2 years.


Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound to stimulate collagen production deep within the skin. This causes a gradual tightening effect that can lift tissues along the jawline. Multiple treatments are needed but results can last up to 2 years.

Surgical Jowl Lift

This procedure surgically removes excess skin and fat through an incision under the chin. The surgeon repositions and tightens underlying tissues to lift the jawline. Recovery takes 2-3 weeks but effects are dramatic and long-lasting.

Neck Lift

A neck lift addresses sagging around the neck and jawline through small incisions under the chin. The surgeon tightens neck muscles and removes excess fat and skin. This directly targets jowls as part of improving the overall neck contour.

Non-Surgical Skin Tightening

Devices like Ultherapy, radiofrequency, and laser resurfacing can tighten and contour the skin along the jawline non-surgically. Multiple treatments are required for incremental tightening over time.

Can Invisalign Be Combined with Other Jowl Treatments?

While Invisalign alone may provide only minimal improvement in jowls, it can be effectively combined with other contouring and tightening procedures for better results.

If you are considering jawline fillers or ultherapy, doing Invisalign first or at the same time can enhance outcomes. By providing some lift to the muscles, Invisalign can complement injectables and skin tightening treatments.

In cases of severe sagging skin, Invisalign could be done before a surgical neck lift or jowl lift. Correcting the bite first allows the surgeon to establish optimal facial proportions during the procedure. It also reduces chances of relapse after surgery.

Discuss your options with both an orthodontist and a plastic surgeon or dermatologist that specializes in facial contouring. They can develop an integrated plan to address jowls using Invisalign in conjunction with other treatments for maximum facial rejuvenation.

Invisalign vs. Facelift for Jowls

While Invisalign can provide mild improvement in jowls, a surgical facelift is far more effective for treating significant sagging along the jawline and neck. The differences are:


  • Non-surgical and non-invasive
  • May lift tissues mildly by enhancing facial muscle tone
  • Minimal recovery time
  • More affordable cost ranging from $3,000-$8,000
  • Subtle improvement, not dramatic
  • Does not address excess skin or fat directly

Facelift Surgery

  • Surgical procedure done under anesthesia
  • Directly redrapes and tightens sagging skin and tissues
  • Requires 2-3 weeks recovery time
  • Higher cost ranging from $7,000-$15,000
  • Significantly improves jowls by lifting and removing excess skin
  • Long lasting, dramatic results

For mild jowls, Invisalign may provide some subtle enhancement. But for substantial improvements in sagging skin and fat, a facelift is far more effective. In moderate cases, the two treatments could potentially be combined for better overall rejuvenation.

Risks and Limitations of Invisalign for Jowls

While Invisalign can offer mild improvements in the appearance of jowls, there are some limitations to consider:

  • Results are minor and temporary. Any lifting effect diminishes over time as skin continues to age.
  • Invisalign works best in younger patients with good skin tone. Older skin has less ability to tighten in response.
  • Multiple rounds of Invisalign treatment may be needed to maintain improvements.
  • Invisalign mainly affects the mouth and jaw area. It cannot lift sagging skin on the neck or turkey neck.
  • Some patients see little to no change in jowl appearance with Invisalign therapy.
  • Prolonged Invisalign use could potentially worsen jowls if teeth are over-proclined.
  • In rare cases, Invisalign’s pulling effect could cause skin wrinkling around the mouth.

Because Invisalign only affects the bite position, its ability to lift and tighten sagging jowls is limited. Substantial improvements in skin laxity would require procedures like a facelift or neck lift. Invisalign is not a stand-alone solution for significantly sagging jowls.

Who is a Good Candidate for Invisalign to Help Jowls?

In general, the best candidates for using Invisalign to mildly improve jowls include:

  • Younger patients in their 30s-40s who have early signs of jowling
  • Patients with good skin elasticity and tone
  • Those with a recessed chin or jaw
  • Patients who need bite correction that will also enhance their facial profile
  • Those willing to complete the full course of Invisalign treatment (12-24 months)

More mature patients in their 50s-60s with substantially sagging skin and fat deposits are less likely to achieve meaningful correction of jowls from Invisalign alone. However, Invisalign may still assist with facial rejuvenation when combined with other tightening and contouring procedures.


Can Invisalign help with jowls? Here’s a quick summary:

  • Invisalign has minimal ability to correct sagging jowls and skin laxity along the jawline.
  • The aligners may provide mild enhancement by lifting tissues and muscles around the mouth.
  • Any improvement in jowl appearance from Invisalign alone is likely to be subtle.
  • Invisalign works best on younger patients with early jowl formation and good skin elasticity.
  • For substantial correction of sagging jowls, procedures like fillers, ultherapy, or a facelift are needed.
  • Invisalign can complement other jowl treatments for better overall facial rejuvenation.

While Invisalign should not be considered a solution for significantly sagging jowls on its own, it may offer some mild improvement in early jowl formation when performed on the right candidates. But for the most dramatic, lasting results, jowl-specific procedures are necessary.


In conclusion, while Invisalign aligners can potentially provide minor enhancement in early jowl formation, their effects are limited. Any lifting or tightening of the skin and facial muscles is likely to be subtle and temporary. Invisalign works best when complementing other treatments like injectable fillers, ultherapy or surgery that directly target skin laxity along the jawline. For substantial improvement of sagging jowls, more invasive procedures would be required. But Invisalign may still play a role in an overall facial rejuvenation plan when combined with other therapies.