Botox injections into the masseter muscles is a technique of aesthetic medicine that changes the aspect of the jaw by reducing its width. An injection of botulinum toxin relaxes the masseter muscles, thus refining the oval shape of the face. Botox injections are indicated for women and men who would like to reduce their jaw width or make it look rounder — as opposed to square or rectangular.
Botox for jaw reduction: in brief
- Condition : Women and men who wish to refine the shape of their jaw.
- Time to first visible results : Unveils gradually and naturally after 1 or 2 months.
- Length of visible results : 3 to 4 months after the first injection then 6 to 9 months for the maintenance injections.
- Pain level : Between 0 and 1/10
- Scars : None
- Time to resume exercising/sports : The next day
- Duration of the intervention : 15 minutes
What is Botox?
Botox (or botulinum toxin) is a protein that temporarily reduces muscle contractions by impacting the level of the neuromuscular junction (the junction between muscles and nerves). The effect of botulinum toxin is related to its muscle relaxant action. In the context of a jaw reduction using Botox, injections target the masseter muscle that is the cause of the size and shape of the jaw.
Botox injections (or botulinum toxin) have been used for more than 20 years. It’s possible to rely on it to treat eyelid or hand twitching. It’s also used to treat migraine. The Botox-based treatments are widely spread and their efficiency has been proven for a long time (authorization from the US FDA in 2002 and the French ANSM in 2003).
In aesthetic medicine, botulinum toxin has found its main application in the treatment of facial expression wrinkles (especially for the lion's wrinkle) or neck wrinkles. Botox has been used in aesthetic medicine for about fifteen years.
Botox also makes it possible to treat problems related to excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), to prevent migraines of nasal origin or to refine the jaw by targeting the action of the masseter muscles.
Principles of a jaw reduction using Botox
A jaw reduction is a cosmetic medicine procedure.
Using Botox to reduce the jaw size and appearance is considered an intervention of aesthetic medicine for women and men considering their jaws "too wide" or "too square". This condition is also referred to as an hypertrophy of the elevating muscles of the mandible (masseter muscles).
Generally, botulinum toxin is used in local injection to provoke a decrease in targeted muscle contractions to reduce expression lines. Botox is used to refine the lower third of the face as part of a treatment of hypertrophy of the masseter muscles of the jaw.
Botulinum toxin reduces the volume of the masticatory muscles (especially the masseter muscles) by reducing the contractions of the target muscles, while preserving their main function.
Condition: Mandibular muscles hypertrophy
Impacting jaw width using botulinum toxin is only recommended to patients who present a hypertrophy of the mandibular muscles. Surgical remodeling of the jaw should be considered instead if the bone are causing the aspect of the jaw.
Other kinds of treatments for jaw width
A lipoaspiration of the oval of the face should be considered when the width is related to an excess of fat. A facelift is recommended when the oval shape of the face has become more square due to the sagging over time.
Facial fat removal treatments can also be used: Coolsculpting, Keybody-lipo.
Dans ce cas, un lifting du visage permet de corriger cet affaissement et affiner l'ensemble du tiers inférieur du visage.
Effects of botox on the jaw shape
Botox injections reduce jaw width and refine the lower part of the face. The result of a reduction of the jaw will be different for men and women, as the goal is to recreate the oval shape of the face in an aesthetic and harmonious way.
In a man’s face, the jaw tends to be naturally wider and to have a square shape. The jaw line usually descends from the ear and then turns at an acute angle to the chin.
In some men, a hypertrophy of the elevating muscles of the mandible and masseter muscles forms a jaw too square, which is out of harmony with the rest of the face.
In a woman’s face, the jaw usually draws a softer curve from the earlobe to the chin. When the curve is not soft enough, it tends to give an appearance that they find too "masculine".
Treatment of the jaw using Botox is particularly recommended to Asian women who present an excess of muscle thickness in the masseter muscles.
Even if the process of jaw reduction is sometimes referred to as a "feminization" of the jaw, its goal is not to feminize but rather to restore the overall harmony of the face.
What is the result of a treatment of masseter muscles using Botox?
The result of a jaw treatment using Botox injections appears gradually after the injection sessions. The result can be considered optimal after 1 to 2 months.
Duration of the results
It is necessary to make periodic maintenance injections to perpetuate the results in reducing the width of the jaw. After the first treatment, the result is maintained for about 3 to 4 months. For the following treatments, the result will be visible for a longer period, usually between 6 to 9 months. In the absence of maintenance injections, the jaw gradually returns to its initial appearance after 12 months.
The risks of injecting Botox are low. Nevertheless, it is recommended to see a practitioner who has a perfect command of the medical procedure and a perfect knowledge of the anatomy of the face. He must be able to anticipate muscle masseter muscle strength to evaluate the volume of Botox to inject to achieve the expected result. Too much Botox injected could lead to discomfort while chewing.
Before - After: Reduced jaw using Botox injection in the muscle masseter