Botox comes from the bacterium clostridium botulinum which makes a contaminant which can cause botulism. One effect of botulism is paralysis. Scientists discovered that in trace amounts this toxin can treat wrinkles by preventing muscle movement under the skin. For example, if you want the laugh lines around your mouth to disappear, you inject certain muscles around the mouth with Botox. Those muscles weaken achieving a smoother appearance on your skin.
You can reduce the size of your jawline with Botox as well. A prominent jaw looks handsome on men, but women born with a strong jawline often want to correct it non-invasively. The masseter muscle moves the jaw and clenches the teeth; Botox can shrink the size of this muscle by paralysing and thus weakening it.
According to Dr. Barry Eppley, a Clarian Health Systems plastic surgeon, when you clench your teeth the masseter muscle protrudes. The procedure involves injecting Botox directly into the protruding muscle focusing on the lower portion and avoiding the parotid glands, which produce saliva. Injecting Botox into them will reduce the saliva that your body makes.
If all areas of the masseter muscle have received injections, doctors will often inject the remaining Botox to the front and back of the jawline.
Costs and Considerations
This procedure can cost around £162 to £390. Because Botox is a slow atrophy of particular muscles, results are not immediate. Depending on the individual noticeable results will appear anywhere from one to six months. Botox is temporary and over time muscles will slowly regain movement. Thus, you need to repeat the procedure approximately every four months. The results should be dramatic after a year of treatments.
Although the effects of Botox are not permanent, Dr. Eppely notes that masseter reduction appears to be long term even without further Botox treatments.
The most common side effect is bruising on the face where injections occurred. Others include headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms and respiratory infections.
An uncommon side effect is a spreading of paralysis to neighbouring muscles near the site of the injection. Pain or swelling is also a rare side effect, but usually disappears one week after the procedure.
Botox has a negative reaction when mixed with many other medications, so be certain to tell your doctor about over-the-counter and prescription medications you are taking.
While Asians are more often born with prominent jawlines, others can prevent the masseter muscle from overworking and thus becoming larger. Stop bad habits such as chewing gum, tobacco, grinding or clenching your teeth. Deal with stress appropriately with exercise or grip a "stress ball."
Determine if you are a candidate for jaw reduction by evaluating the bulk of your masseter muscle. Stand in front of a mirror and bite your teeth together: if your muscle swells noticeably you might benefit from Botox and the more graceful shape that it creates.
Search for a qualified doctor in your area and contact former patients if possible. Find out if the doctor has a spotless reputation; some have a history of doing lopsided injections which give the face an uneven look. In some cases injections are not made precisely into the masseter muscle and patients experience problems chewing. Avoid this at all costs by doing thorough research.