We often have patients who come in complaining that they are noticing heaviness to their lower face as they get older. Part of what they are seeing is skin laxity and descent of facial fat causing a “jowly” appearance. Another part of this heaviness effect, however, is an enlargement and squaring of the angle of the jaw. With time, many people develop an enlargement of their masseter muscle. This is the main muscle responsible for chewing. Either through genetic predisposition to enlargement or through continuous exercise via teeth grinding and clenching, or both, the muscle gets bigger. Frequently, patients are grinding and clenching only at night, so they are not even aware that they are doing it. The only signs are wear are along the teeth, some tenderness in the TMJ area and enlargement of the muscle.
As the masseter muscle enlarges and the jawline becomes more square and pronounced, a woman’s face becomes more masculine in appearance. Both men and women appear tense and stressed because they look like they are constantly clenching their teeth.
Some of our female Asian patients are genetically predisposed to having a strong jaw. Softening the angular appearance of that strong jaw gives them a more oval and gentle shape to their face.
Traditionally, surgical jaw reduction was the only way to change the contour of the lower face. In this procedure, part of the mandible is removed to narrow the jaw. The procedure is painful and requires serious downtime. At Westside Aesthetics, Dr. Rivkin offers a non-surgical option for patients seeking to diminish the robust or asymmetrical appearance of their jawline with the innovative use of Botox.
Throughout the world, Botox injections have been shown to be a safe and effective way to reduce the masseter muscles. Because Botox partially weakens it, the muscle becomes smaller with time. The other effect is that a weaker muscle is not able to grind like it used to, so any nighttime grinding habit is quickly broken. We have seen that many patients stop grinding after two or three sessions of Botox injections into the masseter muscles.
The procedure is quick, relatively painless, and requires no anesthesia or downtime.
It is important to note that Dr. Rivkin is conservative in the dosing of Botox. The jaw reduction treatment does not result in weakness of the bite or chewing. We would rather see you in follow up and inject more Botox than put too much in at the outset. Two weeks following the first treatment Dr. Rivkin monitors the results and adds more Botox to the area if needed. The effects can be relatively quick however it may take up to six months before the visible shrinking of the muscle can be observed.
Botox injections should be repeated every 4 months for up to a year in order to obtain optimal results. Jawline reduction is often maintained even if no further Botox injections are done after the first year of treatment.
During your free initial consultation, Dr. Rivkin will give you the opportunity to view before and after photos so that you will know what to expect from the treatment. To learn more about Non-Surgical Jaw Reduction, or to schedule a free consultation in the Los Angeles area, contact us by phone or e-mail today.