The Masseter is the powerful muscle on the side of you cheek that enables you to bite and chew. It is important for two separate reasons
- A large masseter muscle makes your jaw look square. A square jaw can actually look good on some men. In fact the band of muscle below the eye also gives a somewhat manly character. But it’s a different matter if it is too square, especially if you are a woman for it takes away that feminine oval face.
- Medically, a large masseter is associated with teeth grinding and bruxism, or a pain in your jaw caused by spasm of the muscles
- There is some suggestion that Bruxism is associated with Migraines. Certainly it can cause headaches though one of the migraine trigger zones is in the temples. read more about Migraine treatment with Botox here
Very often the squareness is due to increased strength and volume of your jaw muscle, called the Masseter, and Botox can be used to weaken it, giving a less square jaw with a softer angle. By blocking the action of selected muscles with Botox we can reduce their power and cause a reduction in muscle size over time , very much like the process in treating wrinkles. For those with bruxism, they notice the pain decreasing within a week. You will generally notice softening of the masseter muscle at 2 weeks and softening of the jawline over the next 4 weeks. Researchers have observed that with continued treatment the reduced power of the muscle can actually allow the body to remodel the bone shape, so that your softer jawline is due both to muscle volume reduction and a change in your jaw shape to a more feminine line. The effects can be truly remarkable.
Dr Blatchley’s method for Botox injection into the masseter is quick and painless, and with no downtime. The Botox takes about a week to begin to take effect, when you will first feel some softness of the masseter muscle at the site of the injections when you clench your jaw. Then over the next 4 weeks the softened muscle will reduce in size because it is no longer being used (a bit like being weightless in space), and you will see a lessening of the squareness of your jaw. You may require a second initial treatment at 6 weeks, but generally this is not necessary. The effects of the botox in weakening the muscle last about 3-4 months, but very often the effects of the botox last far longer and many people find they only require a repeat treatment about once a year before the masseter volume begins to increase again.