Why are Botox injections needed for enlarged Masseter muscles?

You often say that botox injections are required for masseter muscles that have become enlarged because of excessive chewing or similar habits. However if one managed to stop the habit, wouldnt the masseter muscle slim down and reduce in size on its own over time?

Doctor Answers 12

If you want to follow a liquid diet...

If you don't chew or grind for a long time, then it is possible that your muscles could relax, making them less prominent. But does that mean you'll be eating a liquid diet, then? We use our masseter muscles everyday to eat and perform other things that we do on a daily basis. That's why it would be very, very difficult to allow these muscles to reduce in size on their own.

Paramus Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Botox For Masseter

When you do not use your muscles, they begin to relax and become smaller, a term called atrophy. It is likely that your masseter muscles may reduce in size if you were to decrease excessive chewing, like with gum. However, as you require your masseter muscles for chewing food, it is not possible to completely reduce the size on your own without Botox.

Botox injections for Masseter reduction is extremely effective, in that it relaxes the muscles so that they decrease in size, but still allows you to chew, and you do not have to worry. I would still recommend decreasing gum chewing, as it would help to prolong the effectiveness of your treatment.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Botox for Masseter Muscle Reduction

Botox is an effective treatment option for people trying to overcome bruxism, or teeth grinding, a habit that causes enlarged masseter muscles. When overactive jaw muscles continuously clench overnight and cause the teeth to grind, the masseter muscle becomes hard and enlarged from constant activity. Botox works by relaxing and softening the overdeveloped muscle. This not only helps alleviate teeth grinding, but also slims down the appearance of the jawline. Botox treatments for the masseter muscle can last up to 3-4 months.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Botox for masseter muscles

It is very difficult to stop habits, especially if grinding of the teeth occurs at night.  For an individual who has large masseter muscles giving the jawline a square appearance, the slimming effect caused by Botox injections is appreciated.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Masseter muscle hypertrophy and Botox

Botox into the masseter muscle will help to thin the muscle and slow or stop your excessive chewing. In Asians we give usually between 20-30 units each side to flatten the muscle. You should have the same dose.

David A. F. Ellis, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Masseter and Botox Injections

Botox treatment can help decrease the size of the muscle, which is typically genetic.  I haven't seen a patient yet from excessive chewing that has increased the size of this muscle.  The chewing and size of the muscle will improve with repeated injections which will also help the appearance of your jawline.  I wish you the best of luck, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Enlarged masseter muscles

Botox injection is an excellent way to reduce masseter muscle mass thereby giving a more feminine triangular appearance to an otherwise square masculine jawline. While reducing excessive chewing can reduce muscle bulk, it won't produce the same dramatic result as Botox injection.

Adebola Dele-Michael, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Masseter muscles

If a patient can control their teeth grinding and/or excessive chewing, the muscle will certainly shrink on its own (although it may take many months). Botox works well for people who have a hard time controlling their chewing/grinding. In addition, there are people who genetically have a larger masseter muscle, which can give a more masculine, square appearance to the face. This is seen in some Asians patients for example, which explains the incredible popularity of Botox injections in the masseter in these countries. 

Ramona Behshad, MD
Saint Louis Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Masseter hypertrophy

Masseter muscle hypertrophy is genetic.  It is unlikely do to excessive chewing.  Botox has to be done repeatedly for someone to see the effect.  Many patients think it is a one time treatment and it is not.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Slim down enlarged jawline muscles

I don't ever say that it's "required" to get Botox for the jawline. That's simply not true. It's a form of treatment for enlarged masseter muscles. The way I explain it is like this: when you go to the gym and work out really hard for years, and then you stop, your muscles simply don't disappear overnight. It can take months and months and even years for a return to normalcy. So with your jaw muscles in particular, they have a rather long memory. It's going to take a great amount of time for that area to change. Botox simply makes it happen faster and last longer, despite the fact that you still may be doing the exact same things.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.