A recent study shows that, as people age, their jaws grow and widen and "drop" — research that may influence the ways in which facial augmentation is approached, according to physicians at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

The research, recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, was led by Joel E. Pessa, MD, and Rod Rohrich, MD, FACS, both of UT Southwestern.

The researchers obtained serial radiographs of 8 men and 8 women, and discovered that, over their lifetimes, the patients' mandibles continued to grow and widen as they aged. They were also surprised to observe the manner in which different portions of the face aged. "Yes, the entire facial skeleton does increase with age," Pessa says, "but the jaw does so at an accelerated rate compared to the rest of the face. Therefore, there's a change in the shape of the face, and in the relative size of the jaw."

Read more about the study here and here. (Thanks to Carl Lynder for tipping us off about this).