Ok, so we all know that Botox is a superhero when it comes to getting rid of dynamic wrinkles. And if you’ve read my article 8 ways to use Botox, you’ll know that it can be used for loads of medical purposes too. But jawline slimming? So, how does that work then? That was my question when I was first introduced to the concept. I mean, when I think of slimming, I think of fat reduction and body contouring techniques, like fat freezing or EMSculpt, not botulinum toxin. But, actually, when it comes to slimming the jawline, Botox is a pretty good option. Stay tuned for the how, the why, and a whole lot more.
Do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
One of the reasons I was so excited to learn about Botox for the jawline is that I'm terrible for clenching my jaw. If I'm stressed, I'll often find myself grinding my teeth - and there are plenty of times when I don't even notice I'm doing it. A recent trip to the dentist confirmed this when he said he could see the impact on my teeth. But it's not only my teeth that are affected. You see, when you clench your jaw, your masseter muscles are overworked. By now, you’re probably wondering, ‘what is the masseter muscle?’. Don’t worry, I’ve got you...
What exactly is the masseter muscle?
To understand why you might get Botox for the jawline, first, it’s important to understand the muscle that is injected - the masseter muscle. Masseters are the muscles on either side of the face that are responsible for chewing. So, it’s thanks to them that we can enjoy chocolate, pizza and all those other yummy foods we need to really get our teeth into.
However, for people who grind their teeth or clench their jaw (hello!), the pressure that is put on the masseter muscle, as a consequence, causes it to get one hell of a workout. I mean, think about it. When you go to the gym (this is hypothetical, of course), the more you work on your biceps, the bigger and stronger they grow. Constantly working out your masseter muscle through clenching and grinding has the same effect and can cause the muscle to grow, which can have several not-so-great impacts. The first is that the jaw can become painful and uncomfortable - and it’s not only the jaw either. People who suffer with jaw pain (or TMJ) often complain of headaches too, which are caused by excessive clenching.
The second effect of a clenched masseter is a square jawline, which some see as being a more masculine shape. And this makes sense when we think of the gym analogy from earlier. Overworking muscles makes them bigger, so of course our masseters change the shape of our face and jawline if we keep on clenching. But, fortunately, botulinum toxin injections into the masseters can help reduce this effect.
How does masseter Botox work?
So, masseter Botox (AKA jawline Botox) simply works by a medically qualified practitioner injecting tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into multiple areas of the masseter muscle. In small doses, Botox relaxes the muscle.
Botox takes several days before it begins to kick in, and it might be around ten days before you see the full effect. This should then last until the body starts to metabolise it, which could be between 3 and 6 months - but that varies from person to person.
What’s the overall result of botox for jawlines?
When the results of the botox begin to take effect, you should start to notice that your jawline doesn’t contract as much, and the masseters should start to atrophy (waste away) slightly. This results in a slimming of the jawline, giving the face more of a V shape.
Added benefits of Botox for jawline slimming are reduced clenching, and, for some, less headaches.
At the moment, masseter Botox is not an FDA-approved treatment, but it is widely used by practitioners. If you decide to go ahead with the treatment, it’s really important that your practitioner takes the time to offer a full consultation, explaining the process, the side effects and more.
Get even more Botox for jawline info in our treatment guide. Get set, glow!