Botox Jaw Reduction: A New Technique For Facial Reshaping
While a strong, square jawline can be distinctly masculine and desirable in male patients, many female patients are seeking softer more feminized shape to their face. Particularly in Asian females, changing the shape of the face from square to a more attractive oval shape can add a more gentle graceful appearance.
Jaw reduction surgery used to be the only option for many patients. However, patients had long recovery times, inconsistent and unnatural results. Now Botox has revolutionized facial reshaping. Botox allows for changing the shape of the face without a scalpel, pain, swelling and zero downtime.
Botox jaw reduction is a specialized technique to reduce the width of the jawline changing an overly square jawline to a more attractive oval or heart shaped face.In some patients, the the masseter muscle, a chewing muscle, is enlarged creating extra facial width. Botox selectively weakens this muscle over time leading to an overall reduction in the size of this muscle.
Dr. Shah's special technique of injection makes this a pain free and bruise free experience. Many patients come on lunch breaks to have this procedure done and are able to return to the office immediately after. Patients typically notice softening of the masseter muscle at one week and softening of the jawline at 6 weeks. Some researchers have noticed "permanent changes" to the jawline after 2-3 treatments. However, it is reasonable for patients to expect long term benefit but not permanent changes.
Some patients mention lower rates at outside countries or facilities. Any product other than Botox (Allergan) or MyoBloc should illicit serious concerns for personal safety. In addition, Dr. Shah performs many cases of "redo" Botox Jaw Reduction performed by outside injectors. His special analysis, in addition to his skillful and precise placement of the Botox, allow for long lasting, aesthetic and symmetrical results.
Finally, some personal habits can be directly attributed to your enlarged jaw muscles (the masseter). Excessive gum chewing, chewing hard items like ice or tougher meats, all can lead to an enlarged masseter muscle. Stress can lead to bruxism (grinding your teeth at night) which can enlarge your masseter as well.
Photographs: Young female patient seeking conservative reduction of masseter muscle. After one treatment patient exhibits less bulge along jawline and an overall softer, less full facial appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Botox Jaw Reduction?
Botox jaw reduction is where botulinum toxin (aka botox) is injected into the muscles of the jaw (called the masseter muscle) to reduce its size. In some ethnicities, patients have a tendency to develop overly square facial features. Botox can reduce the overall size of the masseter muscle, allowing for improved facial proportions in a noninvasive manner.
How does Botox Jaw Reduction vary from jaw reduction surgery?
Botox jaw reduction is a relatively painless, no downtime procedure which can be performed in an office setting. Jaw reduction surgery is an invasive surgical procedure involving either cutting or shaving to the mandible (jaw bone) to help reshape it.
What the benefits/drawbacks of one over the other?
Botox jaw reduction can create a natural, subtle improvement to the area without any of the downtime or potential complications. Jaw reduction surgery can cause sensation issues, dental alignment issues, and potential for pain along the TMJ area. Botox jaw reduction is actually one of the treatments for TMJ discomfort.
Can you experience any pain initially/days after the treatment?
In patients treated by Dr. Shah there is no pain after the injection.
Can you experience any pain initially when eating? Do you need to restrict your diet immediately after the treatment?
There is no pain with eating. Dr. Shah recommends the restriction of gum chewing, chewy candies, tougher meat products, jerky meat products and cuttle fish as they can promote masseter fullness.
Initial phase consists of 2-3 treatments, how long does that last?
Dr. Shah recommends that patients are treated with a second treatment 2-4 months after the initial treatment. Most patients do not need a third treatment, however, for patients seeking further correction this can be redone.
How often does it need to be re-done?
After patients are injected with 2 treatments, most patients do not need additional treatments with botox. Those that seek in further contouring typically come for repeat injections every 6 months.
If I stop practicing some negative personal habits like chewing tougher meats or chewing gum, do I still need the botox jaw reduction?
Yes, since the muscle will not atrophy on its own. Botox will change the physical mass of the muscle and make it less prominent.
Is there anyone who could not have the surgery due to medical issues or existing dental complications?
Any patient who has a neuromuscular disorder such as Myasthensia Gravis or Lambert Eaton Syndrome should not receive Botox. In addition, patients who are pregnant or breast feeding should avoid Botox. Patients with active dental and skin infections should avoid Botox in the masseter area as well.
I was treated by another surgeon, but I don't see any results. Is there a reason for this?
Botox treatments to the masseter are customized for every patient. There are a couple reasons as the why the injections might not have created an improvement.
- "Imposter Botox" - There are many types of botulinum toxin available. In Chicago, as in the United States, Botox and Dysport are the only two that are FDA approved. Be weary and avoid any other versions, which may be counterfeit, water-down versions, or "Chinese Botox" which can yield unreliable and potentially dangerous results.
- Poor technique- It is crucial that a skilled physician inject the Botox properly and into the correct location.
- Too few units- Each patient has a unique dosage, and treatments should be customized for his or her anatomy.
- Follow-up treatments- Masseter reduction treatments require a series of injections, so that each treatment can build of the last and have the most impact.
- Poor Habits- Those who do not discontinue chewing gum, consuming chewy foods and so on will have less dramatic results.
How many units of botox are used for jaw reduction?
This is no set number of units or dosage of botox used for treating the masseter hypertrophy. The average necessary for most patients is 25 units per side, with a great variation based on the size of the muscle.
Is it every possible to reverse the results of jaw reduction?
Yes and no. Masseter reduction with botox is when the botox is injected directly into the muscle to reduce its size and force. As time goes on, the treated patient will be trained to not flex or use the masseter muscle with as much force. Dr. Shah has seen, as has much research supported, that the effects of botox jaw reduction to last long term. Botox can also work to shrink the parotid gland, a salivary gland that is near the masseter muscle. There is also anecdotal evidence that that botox can also decrease bone density, but this has not been fully established.
For these reasons, botox does have a long term effect. If a patient desires more bulk in the masseter area, they could chew gum, eat chewy foods, such as cuttle fish or tough meats, or flex the muscle more often.
It is vital that an injector have a keen understanding of both the aesthetics of the face and a vast knowledge of facial anatomy.