What Is Buccal Fat?

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Buccal fat lies in the buccal fat pad (also known as the Bichat’s fat pad) which sits just under your cheek bones, consisting of tissue and lobules of fat, and is one of several encapsulated masses of fat in your cheek. More specifically the buccal fat pad is located between the buccinator muscle, crucial for helping you to chew, and multiple other muscles.

The buccal fat pad is sometimes confused with either the malar fat pad or the jowl fat pad. The former sits just under the skin on your cheek and the latter further down. From a surgical perspective the distinction between jowls and buccal fat can be very important as whilst buccal fat, and thus its removal, does make a difference to the hollowness of the cheek, it is not involved with jowl formation.

There are a few theories as to the practical function of the buccal fat pad which range from aiding us to suckle as babies and to chew, all the way to cushioning the delicate facial muscles.

One thing you can take comfort in knowing is that these are just theories, not solid fact, and we are perfectly able to survive without our buccal fat.

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