How is Botox Used to Reduce the Jaw Muscle?

Can botox be used to reduce, rather than enlarge or enhance, the jaw muscle? How natural is the final visual effect?

Doctor Answers 10

Botox for jaw

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Botox is injected directly into the jaw muscle, known as the masseter, to relax it, softening your jawline and giving you a thinner appearance.

Using Botox to reduce the size/strength of the jaw muscle

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Botox paralyzes muscles.  When it is injected into the jaw muscle (masseter), that muscle becomes weaker and smaller.  The final effect is very natural; it will look like the lower third of your face is smaller than previously.  The effects typically last about 6+ months.  

You will notice that it is a little harder to chew chewy items such as bagels.  Those that grind their teeth or clench their jaw also notice that they don't grind/clench as strongly.

Botox is used to reduce enlargement of the chewing muscle

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Hypertrophic, or enlarged, masseter (chewing) muscles can be reduced in size by treating with Botox. Treatments should be done by an experienced provider so that there is a symmetric result. Placing an unequal strain on the cheek muscles could put the jaw socket out of alignment thereby exacerbating or causing a sore Jaw (TMJ syndrome).

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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Botox for Facial Contouring of the Jaw Muscles

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The use of Botox to contour the face is gaining popularity. Botox is injected directly into enlarged jaw muscles at the angle of the jaw. These muscles then shrink (atrophy) over time and soften the square-look that the enlarged muscles create. Also, if the treatment is maintained, the bony angle of the jaw may resorb slightly giving the face a softer contour.

The jaw muscles can be enlarged naturally, or commonly they enlarge with clenching or bruxing the teeth at night during sleep, or excessive gum chewing. If you wear a tooth guard at night or if your dentist tells you that you have excessive wear on your teeth, Botox to the jaw muscles help relax these muscles. I often treat patients for three treatments spaced three months apart to get the best effects on reducing the muscle mass of the masseters (clenching muscles of the jaw).

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


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botox is used to decrease the jaw muscles. the masseter muscle is injected with botox, which will result in a decrease in volume. this will in turn diminish the square jaw lines. this gives very natural results as the change is gradual. you will require several treatments though.


Carlos Cordoba, MD

Plastic Surgeon

4055 Ste. Catherine Ouest , Suite 100
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Carlos Cordoba, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon

How can Botox be used to reduce the jaw muscles

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The use of Botox or Dysport to reduce or shape the jaw muscles is common in Asia and is  becoming more popular here. It is , however, an off label indication not approved by the FDA (by way of disclosure).

It is used by injecting the protein into the jaw muscles and then relaxing them. This has the effect of minimizing the "squareness" of the jaw. In many people, it also alleviates the pain of TMJ if this pain is caused by clenching.

Kenneth Beer, MD
Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox injections to thin the square face

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Botox can be injected in certain locations into the masseter muscles on each side of the jaw.  Over time, the muscle will atrophy and shrink in size.  Multiple treatments are recommended over the course of 8-12 months.  This treatment is very popular in Asia and can help to narrow or slim down a face that is square in the cheeks from strong or hypertrophied masseter muscles.  Make sure you go to a trained physician when injecting Botox in this area because placement is important.

Jason D. Bloom, MD
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox does not enhance or enlarge the jaw muscle.

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First, this is an off-label use of this product and lacks FDA approval for this treatment.  Your injecting physician can still perform this service for you.  The BOTOX slightly weakens this muscle and the resulting muscle atrophy that is cause by this bit of weakness account for a reduced muscle profile making the jaw line look less full.  Treatment typically lasts 4-6 months.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Botox for jaw muscles

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the muscles that are injected to reduce the fullness or rounded appearance over the jaw bone in front of your ear are called masseters. Repeat injection done every few months will cause some partial atrophy of that muscle that tends to last longer the more injections are done over time. It can remove some of the squared off jaw or broad look to the jaw area back towards your ear lobe. That can give the face a thinner appearance in many people.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Botox is a phenomenal method of reducing the size of the masseter muscle...

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different doctors approach treatment in different ways...must inject 3-5 sites in the muscle with amounts of botox ranging from 15-30+ units per side with the understanding that low doses might require a second injection after about a month or works by basically temporarily interrupting the nerve supply to the muscle and this results in the kind of muscle shrinkage you get from putting a cast on an arm or leg...even with just one treatment its not uncommon for benefits to last up to a year...and the visual effect is wonderful with a much thinner lower face rather than the more squared look...much more cosmetically appealing...

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist

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.