Recessed Maxilla: How to Fix, Before & After

If someone has a recessed maxilla, they likely have flat cheekbones, hollow or sunken under-eye area, concave face profile, breathing problems and bad bite. Unfortunately, all of these traits affect facial appearance and are considered unattractive.‍
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Recessed Maxilla: How to Fix, Before & After
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How do you know you have a recessed maxilla, what causes it, and how can you fix it so you improve your facial appearance and overall health?

In this post, we’ll explore everything about a recessed maxilla; what it is, how it’s connected to attractiveness, what causes it, and how you can fix it.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Maxilla Bone?

Your skull is made of 22 bones fused together. The maxilla bone also known as the upper jaw is one of them and makes up most parts of your face including the

  • Upper jaw
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Cheeks
  • The lower part of the eye sockets
  • Parts of the nose

The maxilla plays a vital role in mastication, communication, and facial attractiveness.

What Is a Recessed Maxilla?

A recessed maxilla means an underdeveloped maxilla. This means the maxilla bone is set back, and not as developed as it should. A recessed maxilla can create issues with facial appearance, and functional problems related to health.

A recessed maxilla shouldn’t be confused with a recessed mandibular which is an underdevelopment of the lower jaw or chin.

Is My Maxilla Recessed?

If your maxilla is recessed, it’s easy to tell from certain features of your face. Bite or malocclusion issues can as well be an indication of an underdeveloped maxilla bone.

Start by looking at your facial profile in the mirror, preferably from the side. If your upper jaw appears to be set back compared to your lower jaw or the rest of your facial profile, it might suggest a recessed maxilla. However, a visual inspection alone may not be enough for an accurate assessment.

Take note of any functional issues as well. These might include difficulties with chewing, swallowing, speaking, or breathing. Again, it's important to remember that these issues could have multiple causes, not just a recessed maxilla.

A more accurate way to determine whether you have a recessed maxilla is to consult with a dental or healthcare professional. An orthodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon, for instance, will be able to perform a thorough assessment. 

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Symptoms of a Recessed Maxilla

If you have a recessed maxilla, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Flat or sunken cheekbones
  • Prominent nose
  • Thin upper lips
  • Pronounced lower lip
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Underbite
  • Sleep apnea or snoring
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Chewing difficulty
  • Loss of tooth enamel

Not only does a recessed maxilla create these functional problems, but it can also give you facial features that are deemed to be not attractive.

Recessed Maxilla & Attractiveness: How Are They Connected

Cultural differences and the popular statement “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” may influence the concept of facial attractiveness.

However, in our present generation, facial attractiveness is associated with features such as:

  • Facial symmetry
  • High cheekbones
  • Pointed and proportional nose
  • Full lips
  • Defined jawlines
  • Big or proportional and alert eyes

Since the maxilla bone sits in the middle of your face and makes up your upper jaw, cheeks, lower eye socket, and part of the nose, its underdevelopment may hinder the prominence of these facial features that are deemed attractive.

For instance, when you have a recessed maxilla that causes sunken cheekbones or an overly prominent jaw, this can cause your face to be asymmetrical.

(which is not attractive)

Additionally, since the maxilla bone is connected to the eye sockets, its underdevelopment can cause droopy or tired eyes instead of big, alert ones. A weak chin may be caused by a recessed maxilla as well since the development of the lower jaw is influenced by the upper jaw.

Recessed Maxilla Smile

Another feature that is considered not attractive is excessive gum when you smile

This occurs because the tongue was not supported properly during the growth of the skull which causes the maxilla to be elongated and show gum.

What Can Cause A Recessed Maxilla? 

There are various reasons why the maxilla bones can be recessed which we’re going to inspect now.

Genetic Factors

How your facial bone structure develops is to a large extent determined by genetics. If you have a recessed maxilla, it’s most likely that one of your parents or a relative has one as well. 

Poor Oral Habits

Poor oral habits especially in childhood can lead to the underdevelopment of the maxilla. 

Habits such as:

Angelman Syndrome

In some cases, recessed maxilla can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as Angelman Syndrome. 

This condition affects the nervous system and may cause symptoms such as:

  • Developmental delays
  • Speech impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Problems with movement and balance

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This is a condition in a child caused by exposure to alcohol before birth. This syndrome can cause brain damage and growth problem including an underdeveloped maxilla.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms

Facial features typically associated with fetal alcohol syndrome include:

  • Small eyelids openings
  • Short upturned nose
  • Long upper lip

Facial Trauma During Childhood

Car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and violence that happens to the face during childhood while the face is still developing can cause the maxilla bone to not develop properly.

How to Fix Recessed Maxilla 

If you have a recessed maxilla you may be conscious about your facial appearance, and this may be affecting your confidence. You may also be experiencing dental or health issues that are negatively impacting the quality of your life.

Whichever is the case, a recessed maxilla can be fixed, and there are various treatment options available. In any case, you should consult your doctor before using any methods.

#1: Recessed Maxilla Braces 

Misaligned teeth or bite issues are often associated with a recessed maxilla and in most cases can be fixed with braces

Braces put pressure on a membrane that roots your teeth to your jaw to push your teeth into the right place. Braces don’t only correct bit issues, they can also make your jawline more defined.

Protraction facemask
Protraction facemask

In addition, other orthodontic devices such as a reverse pull face mask (a type of orthodontic headgear) can be worn to correct the underdevelopment of the maxilla bone.

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#2: Recessed Maxilla Filler  

If you have a recessed maxilla that isn’t a health concern, dermal fillers are a minimally invasive option to add volume to your face.

Recessed Maxilla Filler Before & After
Recessed Maxilla Filler Before & After

Most of these fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, which dissolves into your body naturally and is considered safe. You can opt for a semi-permanent or permanent filler. If you have had a permanent filler and want to get rid of them, it usually requires surgery.

#3: Recessed Maxilla Surgery 

Surgery is another treatment option for a recessed maxilla. For mild to moderate cases implants can be used to add volume to the face and enhance your facial appearance.

Recessed Maxilla Surgery Before & After

In other cases, orthognathic surgery can be used to restructure the jaw. A recessed maxilla surgery will involve cutting the jaw bones and realigning them into the right position. Your surgeon will use screws and bolts to keep the maxilla bone in place.

However, the type of surgery you’ll need for a recessed maxilla will depend on your unique case.

Can Mewing Fix A Recessed Maxilla?

Mewing is a technique that places the tongue in the correct position when the mouth is closed - at the roof or palate of the mouth, and tucked behind the front teeth.

While mewing may not suddenly change the structure of your maxilla bone, it can help to correct some symptoms of a recessed maxilla. These include:

  • Mild to moderate teeth misalignment
  • Fix mouth breathing
  • Expand your palate and create more room in your mouth
  • Enhances the prominence of your cheekbones
  • Defines your jawline

Mewing must be done consistently and properly for the best results. You can download our mewing app for step-by-step guides and techniques for how to mew properly. Use the reminder feature to stay on track for consistency. 

Recessed Maxilla: Before & After 

Here are before and after pictures that show that a recessed maxilla can be corrected using the treatment options mentioned above.

Mewing for recessed maxilla
Mewing for recessed maxilla - Source: Reddit

Recessed Maxilla Fillers
Recessed Maxilla Fillers

Recessed Maxilla Fillers/Derma Fillers
Recessed Maxilla Fillers/Derma Fillers

Recessed Maxilla Filler Surgery
Recessed Maxilla Filler Surgery

Mewing for double chin 


A  recessed maxilla can make the face less attractive, and cause functional problems such as misaligned teeth and mouth breathing.

If your recessed maxilla is affecting your confidence or the quality of your life, you can have your recessed maxilla fixed by wearing braces or orthodontic headgear, undergoing dermal fillers and surgery, and mewing.

Mewing which involves placing the tongue at the roof of the mouth and behind the front teeth can help address issues caused by a recessed maxilla.

If you’re new to mewing or looking for how to mew properly and consistently, our mewing app can get you started. It’s used by 100k+ users that have transformed their facial appearance and attractiveness to the next level, and boosted their confidence.

Download right now and look more attractive.

The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional guidance. Mewing and other techniques mentioned on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results may vary. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as an orthodontist, dentist, or myofunctional therapist, before starting any new oral or facial exercises, particularly if you have existing dental, orthodontic, or health concerns.
Written by
Yury Nebyshynets
June 27, 2023