The Basics of Masseter Tox

Masseter tox, also known as neurotoxin for TMJ or jawline Botox, refers to the use of botulinum toxin injections to relax and weaken the masseter muscles. The masseter muscles are the primary muscles responsible for chewing and are located on the sides of the jawline.

When tox is injected into the masseter muscles, it temporarily reduces their activity, leading to muscle relaxation and a reduction in muscle bulk. This can help alleviate various cosmetic and medical concerns associated with an enlarged or overactive masseter muscle.

What is it used for?

Massester tox can be used for both aesthetic and medical purposes such as:

  1. Facial Slimming: Tox injections in the masseter muscles can create a slimmer, more contoured jawline by reducing muscle size. This treatment is often sought by patients with a more square jawline or a wider lower face as a result of overactive masseters.
  2. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ): Tox injections can be used to alleviate symptoms associated with TMJ disorder, such as jaw pain, tension, and teeth grinding.
  3. Bruxism: Tox can help reduce teeth grinding and clenching, which may lead to jaw pain, headaches, and dental problems.
  4. Facial Pain and Tension: Tox injections into the masseter muscles can help relieve facial pain and tension caused by muscle spasms or overactivity.

How long does it last?

The effects of masseter tox typically last for about 3 to 6 months (depending on muscle strength and dose), after which additional treatments will likely be necessary to maintain relaxation of the jaw muscles. It is important to consult with an experienced provider to determine if you are a good candidate for masseter tox.

What are the risks?

While masseter tox is generally considered safe, there can be potential complications with treatment. It’s important to discuss these risks with an experienced injector before undergoing the procedure. Here are some possible short-term risks to consider:

  1. Skin Laxity: If you have skin laxity to the lower face, such as prominent jowls, it could worsen the appearance of the jowls, requiring alternative treatments.
  2. Temporary Weakness or Paralysis: Neurotoxins temporarily weaken the muscles it targets, and in some cases, it can cause excessive relaxation or even temporary paralysis of the masseter muscles. This can lead to difficulty chewing or speaking properly. However, these effects are typically temporary and resolve as the tox wears off.
  3. Temporary Facial Asymmetry: There is risk of tox spreading outside of the masseter muscle, leading to a more narrow or asymmetric smile. Facial asymmetries generally resolve within 2-3 weeks.
  4. Bruising, Pain, or Discomfort at the Injection Site: It is common to experience some mild bruising, pain, or discomfort at the injection sites. These symptoms are usually temporary and resolve within a few days.

It’s essential to choose a qualified provider who has experience with massester tox injections to minimize the risk of complications and provide a good outcome. They will be able to assess your specific situation, discuss potential risks, and come up with a suitable treatment plan.

Don’t know where to start? Schedule a consultation with one of our Lara providers today and find out if this treatment is right for you.

Medically reviewed by Leslie A. Reap, PA-C / Kalli K. Rohleder, RN, BSN