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Our patients request masseter (jaw) muscle injections for several reasons. For some, a more feminine appearance means a slimmer jawline. For these patients, we use Dysport (Botox) to reduce the width of the lower jaw, which creates a V-shaped, youthful appearance. For others, TMJ and/or migraine headaches require jaw injections to feel pain free. Regardless of whether the jaw (masseter muscle) injections are for aesthetic improvements or pain relief, we can help.
We use the term “jaw shaping” or “jaw slimming” to mean the slimming effect that accompanies the injection of Botox (Dysport) to the jaw muscles. For patients that clench unconsciously, especially at night, the increased bulk created at the masseter muscle can create a square appearing or “bottom heavy” facial shape. A square face on a male patient is considered masculine, but on a female face, a V-shaped appearance is accepted as more youthful and feminine. Using Dysport (Botox) to slim the lower face is one way to create a more youthful, feminine aesthetic.
How do masseter (jaw) injections relieve pain for TMJ and migraine headache patients?
Overuse of the masseter muscle can cause hypertrophy or overgrowth. This overdevelopment of the masseter in turn can put pressure on the jaw structure. Continuous clenching can cause stress headaches or migraines and TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-DIB-u-lur) joint pain or even partial locking of the jaw.
How do masseter (jaw) injections work?
Reduction in the size and strength of the masseter muscle (jaw muscle) is key to achieving the desired effects. For the right aesthetic outcome, the masseter muscle must shrink, leaving the lower face slimmer than it was before the muscle was injected with Botox or Dysport. Achieving this slimming in the width of the jaw is key to achieving the V-shape that defines a youthful, feminine appearance. To improve, decrease or stop the effects jaw clenching has on TMJ and migraine headaches, the mass and strength of the masseter muscle must be reduced. By decreasing the size and strength of the jaw muscle, the symptoms of migraine headaches and TMJ are greatly reduced. You will still be able to use your jaw in a normal way, but the muscle will be weaker, which is the desired effect.
How can Botox or Dysport reduce the size of the jaw muscle?
Botox and its competitors, including Dysport, reduce the size of the jaw muscle through a process called atrophy. Muscle atrophy, or shrinkage, occurs when a muscle is not used as much. Because Botox and Dysport reduce a muscle’s ability to contract, it is not used as much or as vigorously. For this reason, it gets smaller. In this way, the medication can make the face slimmer and remove symptoms like teeth grinding, migraines and TMJ (joint pain at the back of the jaw).
How often does Botox need to be injected for jaw slimming?
The duration of the effects of Botox for jaw slimming or migraine relief depend on the size of the muscle being injected as well as the dose of Botox being used. For example, a male patient may have larger muscle mass in the jaw and therefore need a higher dose. If the dose is appropriate, you should see the effects within 4-6 weeks and the results should last at least 4-6 months, sometimes much longer.
How long before the results of Botox injections for jaw slimming and jaw clenching (migraines) are seen?
The amount of time it takes for the effects of Botox injections for jaw clenching or jaw slimming can be seen is different for the two procedures. For jaw clenching and migraine headaches, the effects of the Botox injections can usually be felt within a week. Patients like you often get migraine relief within the 7 days and others that are clenching will notice that symptoms of TMJ lessen and that they are not grinding as much, especially at night.
How much slimmer will my jaw be after Botox injections?
The amount of improvement you will achieve depends on how large the masseter (jaw) muscle is, what the dose of Botox is and how consistent you are with the injections. Because muscle atrophy (shrinkage) occurs over several months, being consistent with your jaw slimming injections means that you will achieve better results. If your jaw muscle is exceptionally large and protruding, the effect of the treatment will be more dramatic (see photos above).
How long do the Botox (Dysport) injections take and are they painful?
The treatments are very short, typically a few minutes. Although some patients are bothered by the discomfort, the needles are very small, and the pain of injection is very minor.
Does Botox or Dysport work better for masseter injections and TMJ?
Dysport and Botox are both Botulinum Toxin Type A. So, while they are made by different companies, the medications are very similar. We like to say it is like the difference between Advil and Aleve. Both are ibuprofen but are made by different companies. Both last similar amounts of time and have similar effects on the muscle.
Will I still be able to chew after Botox injections for the jaw?
Absolutely! The goal for masseter injections is to weaken the jaw muscle, rather than stopping the use of it altogether. After Botox injections, the masseter muscle will decrease in size and strength, but we do not inject so much that the jaw chewing process stops altogether.
How will I know when to come back for my next injection?
Botox injections for facial slimming are meant to last at least 4-6 months. In some cases, the results can last longer. We recommend our patients come back in for retreatment as soon as their first migraine headache or pain from TMJ starts. Also, if the patient was in for aesthetic slimming of the jaw width, then as soon as they can perceive more width creeping back in, they should retreat the muscle.