Most people would agree that a strong, square jawline is an asset to a person’s appearance. Males with this type of jawline are considered fit, highly motivated and very appealing to the opposite sex. While many of these attributes are also applicable to females, such a strong jawline can sometimes be considered unflattering, and a softer look may be more desirable. Botox® injections can soften the lines and make the face more feminine-looking.
The masseter muscle is located in the back part of your cheek, and it runs along the angle of the jaw. It is a rather large, bulky muscle that allows you to close your jaw when chewing. When it is very developed, it creates a squared-off jawline. Generally, women prefer a V-shaped face or softer jawline, which makes a prominent masseter muscle undesirable.
The masseter muscle may be large due to normal anatomy. For many individuals, genetics plays a role in the size of this muscle. Others may have a large masseter muscle because of other influences.
If you are someone who clenches your teeth often or grinds your teeth, also known as bruxism, your masseter muscle may be larger than normal. The habitual grinding and clenching of the teeth can cause over development of the masseter muscle. Like any muscle that is constantly getting a workout, the masseter muscle can become enlarged with overuse. As the muscle grows over time, it can change the shape of your face, resulting in a more severe or square jawline.
Botox Treatment to Relieve Discomfort
In addition to causing enlargement of the masseter muscle, bruxism can also cause trauma to the temporomandibular joint. This can result in headaches, and pain in the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles. Mouthguards or splints and specified exercises may decrease the discomfort.
Another treatment option is injecting the muscle with Botox. Botox injections cause the muscle to relax and remain relaxed for months. This also eases the discomfort of clenching and grinding without the necessity of oral appliances. Although some people may be concerned that these injections will cause the masseter muscle to become paralyzed and make chewing food impossible, this is not the case.
The muscle becomes relaxed, not frozen, and because of the smaller muscles also used for mastication, the treatment does not interfere with chewing. Occasionally, a patient may have a different sensation when chewing tough foods immediately after treatment, but this resolves after a few days.
Non-Surgical Jaw Reduction Procedure
When Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, the muscle becomes relaxed, which gives it a smaller appearance. The procedure also causes it to shrink a little over time. The injection itself takes about five minutes. It is a highly effective solution to softening the jawline without surgery. You will feel very little, if any, discomfort, and there is no downtime.
Masseter reduction with Botox injections does not produce immediate results. It usually takes a few weeks to notice the change. Within six weeks, the full effect of the treatment should be noticeable. The results of the procedure last an average of six months. Patients who choose this method of jaw reduction will often have consecutive treatments to keep the jawline looking softer.
Botox injections for masseter reduction are a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. Surgical reduction entails shaving down the jawbone and can be expensive as well as painful. Surgery also requires downtime, which is not the case with Botox injections. For many people considering changing the look of a square jawline, the Botox solution is the more desirable method due to cost-effectiveness and the immediate recovery. It can provide the desired results without the pain and inconvenience of surgery.
Contact Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, and schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Kenrick Spence. He will discuss the masseter reduction treatments available if you are considering softening the look of your square jawline.