The masseter is one of the muscles inside the jaw used for chewing of food. It often flares outward causing an enlarged look to the jaw, making an individual’s jaw appear wider and more pronounced. This can cause issues in the overall aesthetics of the face, as it disrupts the symmetry and harmony of the facial features.
In order to better the facial harmony and reduce the width of a protruding jawline, we use Botox. Botox is generally a dermal filler used to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines along the face, but it has been shown to help in the reduction of the jawline by reducing the masseter muscle, creating a far more pleasing facial shape.
Who is a good candidate?
Individuals with a thick masseter muscle are generally the best candidates for this procedure. The jaw and jawline should be in perfect harmony, the muscles should all be relatively the same size and exhibit a clean ratio. However, if the masseter muscle is larger or protrudes farther out than the other muscles on the face, than this procedure may be for you. One way to determine this is by biting down and clenching your teeth. If the masseter muscle appears hard and protrudes out from the outside of your mouth, then your masseter will need reduction.
Certain races, like East Asians, are predisposed to have larger masseter muscles. Also, those who tend to chew a lot of gum or chew on their food hard will build up the masseter muscle and cause it to become stronger and enlarged.
How can Botox reduce the size of the masseter?
Botox works by stifling the muscle at the point of injection. When Botox is injected into the masseter, it weakens the muscle over time, leading to the reduction in size (weak muscles are smaller than strong muscles. For best results, we choose a precise injection point at which the muscle inserts into the bone. By weakening the muscle at the point of attachment, the bone also reduces over time; giving the patient more pronounced, long-lasting results.
How does the procedure feel?
The procedure is relatively pain-free. Most patients liken it to a small pinch or the snap of a rubber band. In certain cases, if needed, the area can be numbed prior. The procedure only takes a few minutes and most patients barely feel a thing.
Side Effects or Downtime?
Generally, the side effects, if any, are quite mild. Possible soreness in the area may occur, but this will usually disappear within hours of the procedure. Also, some patients report their jaws become tired while chewing after the procedure, again, this will likely disappear after a few hours. There is 0 downtime for this procedure, and patients typically return to daily activities immediately after.
How long will my results last?
Unlike most procedures involving Botox, results aren’t evident immediately. Approximately one week after your first session you will begin to see a difference, however, it will be very slight (after only one session). You will feel a difference in the muscle as you chew, and your jawline will feel much softer when biting down.
Typically, patients are required to continue this procedure for 6 weeks (for best results) and results will last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Although certain patients have seen permanent changes after only a few injection cycles.