Shrinking the skull and jaws?

As I age , I notice that my skull is getting bigger ; I also notice that my face ( maxilla and mandible ) is getting longer ; lastly I notice that my ears are getting bigger

It’s as if adults have a mild form of acromegaly , and there are studies that show that some growth plates in the skull, hips are open post development

Maybe contraction oesteogenises can theoretically shrink the skull ? Craniofacial shortening by contraction osteogenesis: an experimental model - PubMed
Is it possible to shorten the jaws using contraction osteogenesis? - PubMed

Not feasible with the bones of the cranium at least not in humans, in our lifetime. I think your perception has more to do with soft tissue changes, ligament laxity in the face cartilage (nose, ear) growth rather than osseous structures. Although that does occur as resorption in aging humans, rather than growth, except in actual cases of acromegaly.

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Not sure you’d really want to go through external fixation to reduce a small amount of growth that occurs?

I think @Phillipe is on the right track here. From what I’ve read, its not so much people suffer from ongoing “growth” in these areas, but rather soft tissues suffering from gravity…

You may have heard that your nose and ears never stop growing. As you get older, you might notice that your nose looks bigger or your earlobes look longer than they did when you were younger. Is there any truth to the idea that they are still growing?

Your nose and ears indeed change as you get older, but it isn’t that they’re growing. Instead, what you’re seeing are the effects of skin changes and gravity. Other parts of your body change in the same ways, but your ears and nose are more more noticeable.


But then you see research like this and so perhaps there is some truth to the “growth”: Ear size as a predictor of chronological age - PubMed

I’ve not looked at these issues in depth.

But, I have a theory that I wish some researchers would test, that rapamycin slows the ravages of gravity by keeping the skin and tissue younger (and thus less likely to suffer the effects of gravity). Rapamycin slows the aging of most organs it seems, and so it seems reasonable to speculate that skin also benefits from this general slowing.

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I really think its exactly what rapamycin does as an mTOR inhibitor (cell overgrowth inhibitor) and autophagy activator (cell quality control and replacement). And studies seems to point in that direction :

Mice that uses it in their development remains smaller and healthier.

Everytime I explain about rapamycin I explain its to avoid being deformed as the older :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think the replies are correct in that the skull normally does not grow larger as we age so likely you are seeing soft tissue changes. Except…there is a benign condition called hyperostosis frontalis, mostly noted in some percentage of post menopausal women (~10%+/-), where the internal frontal skull (forehead area) grows thicker over time. This is not noticed by the person but is rather picked up on skull xrays by the radiologist. There is a rare condition where the skull can overgrow on one side only (a hemifacial hyperplasia) but I would think you would know if you had that. There are also conditions where a tumor, for example, a meningioma, can grow so slowly it expands the skull but this would cause a focal change in the skull. I have never heard of any way to shrink the skull, however, jaw size can certainly be adjusted by way of plastic surgery. I have to wonder if contraction osteogenesis might not be rather painful but no idea, I would think it is for children with bony facial deformities. Not my area.

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The story of what is known as distraction osteogenesis is very fascinating. Pioneered by Russian orthopedic surgeon, Gabriel Ilizarov, led to advances in orthodontic therapy as well.

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