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Bristol Palin says she had corrective jaw surgery

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Bristol Palin attends the Candie's Foundation 2011 event to prevent benefit gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
Bristol Palin on May 3, 2011, left, and on Nov. 24, 2010. CBS/Getty

(CBS/AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Bristol Palin admits her recent change in appearance was due to a procedure - but says that procedure was not plastic surgery.

The 20-year-old daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tells Us Weekly that she underwent corrective jaw surgery in December, a month after she finished her stint on "Dancing with the Stars." Her face now appears thinner, with higher cheekbones and an angular jaw.

Pictures: Bristol Palin

The new look, complete with Palin losing 5 pounds, was unveiled April 30 at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, and sparked speculation that she had gone under the knife.

"Yes, it improved the way I look, but this surgery was necessary for medical reasons," she told the magazine for its May 23 issue, which will be on newsstands Friday.

Palin said she had the procedure so her jaw and teeth could properly realign.

While growing up, she wore braces and a device to help correct an overbite. But she said her dentist warned her that she'd have to have surgery one day.

The Palin family's lawyer declined to comment to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Palin said she is pleased with the new look.

"I look older, more mature and don't have as much of a chubby little baby face," she told the magazine.

Palin said she doesn't obsess over her face and would consider plastic surgery only in an extreme situation.

"I wouldn't get plastic surgery unless I got in an accident or something terrible and got disfigured," she said.

Palin will be back on TV later this year, starring on a new reality show for the Bio Channel. The as-yet-untitled series will follow her move from Alaska to Los Angeles with her son, Tripp, to work at a small charity. She will live with actors Kyle and Chris Massey.

Palin and Kyle Massey appeared together on the 11th season of "Dancing with the Stars." She came in third place, he came in second.

Pictures: Her "Dancing with the Stars" season

She'll also soon be a published author - her memoir, "Not Afraid of Life," will come out this summer. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, has said the book would provide "an inside look at her life."

Levi Johnston, the father of her child, also is planning a tell-all book about his tumultuous relationship with the Palin family.

Touchstone Publishing has a fall publication date for Johnston's book, "Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs."

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