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Botox® is best known for its ability to reduce facial wrinkles like crow’s feet, “11s” lines between the brows, and forehead wrinkles. But what you might not know about this popular injectable treatment is that it also has a number of medical applications, including one that TikTokers are calling an injectable form of stress relief.

In fact, masseter Botox can provide relief from a specific symptom of high stress called bruxism, or teeth grinding, which causes the large masseter muscles at the back of your jaw to work overtime. Not only can this cause pain, migraines, and TMJ disorders, but it can also create a bulging appearance on the sides of your jaw due to enlarged masseter muscles.

By relieving the tension in this muscle, masseter Botox can ease the pain and discomfort caused by teeth grinding and TMJ disorders while also creating a slimmer jawline. Here, we take a deeper dive into what masseter Botox is, how it works, and who it’s best for to help you decide if you might be a good candidate for this trending TikTok treatment.

Understanding Masseter Muscle Function

The masseter is a pair of thick, strong muscles on either side of your jaw that work with two other muscles to open and close your jaw when chewing. This rectangular-shaped muscle runs from your cheekbone to your lower jaw. The deep layer of this muscle is also responsible for stabilizing the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which are located in front of each ear and are what hold your lower jaw onto your skull. This is why teeth grinding and TMJ disorders are often related.

While teeth grinding and TMJ problems can be caused by factors like sleep disorders, jaw injuries, arthritis, and certain medications, stress and anxiety are the most common culprits.

What Is Masseter Botox?

Masseter Botox uses an injectable neuromodulator such as Botox, Dysport®, Daxxify®, Jeuveau®, and Xeomin® to relax the masseter muscles on either side of the face. This relieves muscle tension caused by teeth grinding and TMJ disorders and also shrinks enlarged masseter muscles that can otherwise make the lower face appear round or chubby.

While masseter Botox is most commonly used for the primary purpose of relieving muscle tension in the lower jaw caused by teeth grinding, it can also be used as a purely cosmetic treatment. Sometimes referred to as “V-line Botox,” this cosmetic treatment can decrease masseter size in those with a naturally squared or rounded jawline to create a slimmer, V-shaped facial contour.

What Are the Risks of Masseter Botox?

If the neuromodulator is not injected into the correct areas of the masseter muscle, it can cause unwanted effects such as a lopsided or uneven smile or drooling. If a person does experience unwanted effects after masseter Botox, rest assured that they will not be permanent – though it can take several months for the effects of Botox to fade away. However, these negative results can generally be avoided by carefully choosing a qualified and properly trained provider who has ample experience administering masseter Botox injections.

Other common side effects such as bruising, swelling and tenderness can occur in the first several days after treatment but should gradually subside on their own within one to two weeks.

Who Is Masseter Botox Best For?

Most people who opt for masseter Botox are looking to treat a primary concern such as teeth grinding or TMJ issues and, in many cases, also the secondary cosmetic concern of enlarged or bulging masseter muscles.

While masseter Botox can also be used for purely cosmetic reasons, it may not be the best cosmetic solution for everyone. For those with significant skin laxity in the chin and jawline area, masseter Botox may not be recommended, as it can accentuate loose skin by shrinking the underlying muscle tissue.

What to Expect at Your Masseter Botox Appointment

Masseter Botox injections are typically quick and easy, taking less than 15 minutes in most cases. Most people report feeling little to no discomfort during masseter Botox injections, though topical numbing creams or ice can be applied to maximize your comfort.

Because of the thickness of the masseter muscle, it can take anywhere from 25 to 50 units of Botox per side to adequately shrink the muscle. In most cases, your provider will start with a smaller amount and assess your results in around two weeks. At that point, more Botox can be added if necessary to achieve the desired result.

Directly after your masseter Botox appointment, you should be able to resume all normal daily activities. However, it is best to avoid vigorous exercise and keep your head elevated as much as possible for the rest of the day.

How Long Does It Take to See Masseter Botox Results?

You may begin to notice an improvement in teeth grinding, TMJ, and associated pain within just a few days after getting masseter Botox. That said, it can take 2 to 4 weeks for your full masseter Botox results to develop. In some cases, additional Botox may need to be added at your two-week followup appointment to maximize results.

How Long Does Masseter Botox Last?

Masseter Botox can last an average of 4 to 6 months, although this can depend on how many units of Botox were needed for your treatment and how quickly your body metabolizes Botox.

The Bottom Line on Masseter Botox

Masseter Botox is a popular injectable treatment that can significantly improve pain and discomfort caused by teeth grinding and can also create a slimmer jawline. But as with most cosmetic treatments, masseter Botox may not be the best option for everyone.

If you are struggling with teeth grinding, TMJ, migraines, or a bulging appearance at your jawline, schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled and trained medical professionals to see if masseter Botox could be right for you.

Contact us by filling out our secure online contact form or call our Delray Beach office at (561) 692-6422.