Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Botox for masseter reduction

Our face is a work of art. From our eyes, to our nose, to our smile – it all contributes to the person we are and the impression we give to others.

Over time, our face can become crowded with wrinkles and signs of aging that detract from our natural beauty. Botox injections have long been used to reduce lines and creases by relaxing the facial muscles beneath the skin. But did you know that Botox can also be used to help slim down your face?

In recent years, doctors have begun administering Botox injections into the masseter muscles of their patients as a means of slimming down their faces and achieving more slender jawlines. This procedure has been dubbed “Botox for masseter reduction.” Read on to learn more about this treatment option and if it’s right for you!

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Botox for masseter reduction

Dermatologists use Botox injections to reduce the masseter muscle to shape the face. Botox injection to the masseter is also a cure for teeth grinding. Strong masseter muscles give a wide jaw which in turn produces a square, masculine face. This can be unflattering for some women, and men too. Botox shrinks the masseter muscles and slims the face. The treatment involves three or four injections to each cheek. Botox is the only method of reducing the jaw without surgery.

How can you tell if you have strong masseter muscles?

If you clench your teeth, the masseter muscles bulge out to the side of the face. You can feel them by pressing in the middle of the cheek as you clench and release your teeth.

Face slimming involves Botox injections to reduce the size of the masseter muscles. This reduces the width of the lower face, and brings the face shape to being oval. By making the lower face less prominent, attention is drawn to the cheek bones and eyes.

Large masseter muscles make the face shape square

Because it’s quite a large muscle and in the middle of the cheek, the masseter has a big effect on the shape of the face. A strong masseter muscle makes the face look square. After treating the masseter muscle, the face shape becomes more oval or heart-shaped. When treated, the area under the cheek becomes less wide.

What does the masseter muscle do?

The masseter muscle is one of the main chewing muscles. It clenches the teeth together. You use the masseter muscle every time you eat, or chew gum or clench your teeth.

What causes masseter muscles to become large?

Most people who have strong masseters are just born with sturdy muscles. This is more common in Koreans, Chinese and South East Asians. However, anyone one can be born with large and strong masseter muscles.

Like any other muscle, the more the masseter is worked out the stronger it becomes. Masseter muscles can become over-developed from grinding teeth. The medical name for grinding or clenching teeth is Bruxism. A lot of teeth grinding happens during sleep, subconsciously. This can wear the teeth down and give headaches and jaw pain.

Masseter muscles become bigger in anyone who chews a lot. Chewing gum a lot, for example, will develop the masseter muscles.

Botox treatment for masseter muscles for face slimming and jaw reduction in London

Injection of Botox into the masseter muscle will cause the muscle to shrink. This relieves pain and discomfort from grinding, and also reduce the width of the lower face. Botox is a brand name for Botulinum Toxin type A. Other types of Botulinum Toxin Type A are also equally effective such as Azzalure.

Botox treatment for reducing masseter pain

Masseter pain can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) and tension type headaches. Botox into the masseters has been shown to reduce pain levels significantly in these instances.

Botox into the masseter muscles

Between 3 and 4 injections are given into each masseter muscle. The injection may be given while you are clenching hard so that it is directly into the muscle. The muscle can feel a bit sore with clenching for a day or two after treatment. It is possible to return to your normal activities straight away. An anaesthetic is not required.

How long do the results take to show?

Results can take 4 to 6 weeks to show. The effect lasts anywhere from between 4 to 10 months.

What are the results like?

A 2014 Brazilian study showed that Botox injections could reduce the ratio of the width of the cheeks and the width of the lower face by 12%. The peak for jaw reduction was at 3 months. Interestingly, there was still a 5.5% reduction in the cheek to jaw rations at 6 months showing the results can last for 6 months.

Other studies using CT scans show that the muscle shrinks between 22% to 30% by volume when Botox is used in the masseter.

How often is treatment needed?

Most people attend for treatment every 4-8 months.

When won’t masseter Botox injections slim the face?

Botox into the masseters does not slim the face if a wide face is from strong bones, sagging skin or too much fat. Your doctor will feel the strength of your muscle as you clench, and be able to advise you on whether Botox injections may be suitable.

Is Botox injection into the masseter safe?

Botox injection to the masseter muscle is very safe. Once the treatment has kicked in, there may be tiredness from heavy chewing of hard foods (such as steak). This starts after 1 week and can last a couple of months.

The strength of the bite goes down in 30% of people after a week. This recovers after 3 weeks as other muscles become stronger.

There can be some sagging of the skin if the muscle shrinks faster than the skin. Very rarely a sunken appearance develops on the cheeks. This is because the upper fibres of the muscle shrink down. Also rarely, Botox may spread to nearby muscles causing as an uneven or lopsided smile. Sometimes its not possible to smile as hard as before. This is temporary and wears off.

Sometimes a part of the muscle that has not taken the medication may become too active, and cause a bulge. This is usually when the top (superficial) part of the muscle does not take the medication. This can be treated with a further dose of Botox injection at 6 weeks and is included in the original price.

In a study of over 2000 treatments, the rate of side effects were as follows

Reduced bite strength for a temporary period – 30%

  • Bruising at the injection site – 2.5%
  • Headache – 0.6%
  • Bulging of part of the muscle that needed more treatment – 0.5%
  • Sunken cheeks – 0.4%
  • Sagging – 0.2%
  • Reduced smile height – 0.15%

What are the advantages of Botox masseter injections?

Botox is the only method of jaw reduction and face slimming without surgery. Like any other medical treatment, the benefits and risks that apply to you are discussed by your Doctor at Consultation.

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