Last month, I made my way down to Harley Street in search of one thing: a round of Botox in my jaw. While most are aware that Botox is known for easing the appearance of wrinkles, it also helps to relax whatever muscles it is injected into. In my case, I was hoping for a remedy to ease the tension in my head and jaw from grinding my teeth at night and clenching during times when I’m stressed or working out. Not only does Masseter Botox help with teeth clenching and jaw tension, but a pleasant surprise is the slimming down of the shape of your face as a byproduct.
Those who suffer from TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder is a problem with the hinge-like joint that connects the skull to the jaw, which can cause pain in the jaw and the muscles surrounding it) would second the frustration of feeling helpless from migraines and tension in the head from overly grinding their teeth and jaw. I am someone who has tried multiple alternatives to try to cure the teeth grinding, from mouth guards to gua sha, but both were no match for my longtime habit.
Before I get into my experience of having this procedure done, what is Masseter Botox?
Masseter Botox is a cosmetic and therapeutic treatment that involves injecting botulinum toxin into the masseter muscle. This procedure primarily aims to weaken and relax the muscle, resulting in a slimmer appearance of the lower face and reduced jaw tension. The masseter is a powerful muscle found in the jaw area, responsible for chewing and grinding food. It is also involved in clenching the jaw during stress or tension.
Masseter hypertrophy is an enlargement of the masseter muscle, often caused by chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) from stress, genetics or certain habits such as clenching the jaw during sleep or exercise. An overused masseter muscle can cause a wide or square-shaped lower face, which may be perceived as less aesthetic or more masculine. Masseter Botox aims to address this issue by relaxing and slimming the muscles, resulting in improved facial balance.
It is an ideal treatment for those looking to improve their facial aesthetics without undergoing surgery.
- Helps to relieve jaw tension
- Decrease pain from teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Reduce headaches and migraines
- Balance the face
Dr Anoob Pakkar-Hull
I had my procedure done by Dr Anoob Pakkar-Hull at the Harley Street Specialist Hospital. With over 25 years of experience as an anaesthetist, his calming nature and extensive background in medicine ensure the utmost care and dedication are provided to guarantee the client’s interests are at the core. He has a natural aesthetic approach when it comes to cosmetics which is centered all around the patient.
Having undergone training in aesthetics both domestically and internationally, Dr Anoob earned both the Board certification (the highest honour awarded by the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, or AAAM) and the Diploma in Aesthetics. Not only does Dr Anoob presently teach online courses on the learning site Udemy, but he also works with the faculty as a trainer for foreign delegates attending the AAAM courses. In addition, Dr Anoob has three international publications on various facets of regional anaesthesia and a diploma in both acute pain management and regional anaesthesia.
Checking into the Harley Street Specialist Hospital and meeting Dr Anoob was a warm and calming experience. His informative and personal essence set the tone for the professional and attentive care I received.
Dr Anoob began by instructing me to turn my head to the side and bite down before giving me three quick jabs along my jaw on both sides and delivering a total of 15 units of Botox to each side of my face. Each injection lasted perhaps half a second and was over before I could fully react to the sensation of a tiny needle plunging into my skin. The process didn’t really hurt at all (which was my biggest surprise as I am petrified of needles), and it was all over before I knew it. He then repeated the process on the other side. Although I would love to share more information about this process, it was all done within minutes.
The aftercare was very minimal; my lower face did not need to be ice-packed, nor was there any swelling or discomfort, just slight tenderness for a few hours afterwards. I was recommended no strenuous exercises for at least 4 hours afterwards and to avoid touching the jaw area. The benefits would take two weeks to manifest, so there was really no need to check oneself in the mirror just yet.
We then scheduled a review after two weeks to see the progress. He only started with 15 units on each side of my face first to see how my masseter muscle would react to the Botox, allowing him to analyse the progress and see how much is needed for the final dosage. This is important to note, as each individual requires different amounts depending on how strong their masseter muscles are.
After the first initial two weeks
The first week, I noticed little change in both jaw tension and the overall shape of my face; however, at the end of the second week, I began to notice a significant relief in tension in my jaw area and a feeling of a much lighter head, reducing the overall headaches I often get from grinding my teeth during sleep or when I am stressed. Still, during the early few weeks, I wasn’t able to see many differences in face shape; for me, it was at slight side angles that I could begin to see some subtle changes. I began to notice my jawline becoming more slender and proportionate to my face, which became much more noticeable after around a month.
For the two-week review, I had an additional 3 units on my left side and 7 units on my right side, as one side of my jaw is more dominant from where I chew and grind my teeth. Dr Anoob informed me this was common, and the muscle memory from the relaxed muscle will help to maintain the relaxed state of the masseter muscle, prolonging the desired effects.
Having had my masseter Botox done, I can confidently say it is a suitable procedure used for both cosmetic and medical purposes, offering a solution to address jaw pains caused by muscle tension. If that’s not an issue for you and your motivation is purely cosmetic, it’s a good option for those with a wider or square jawline who want it to have more of a V shape. There was no real downtime, no residual pain, and I was on my way back to work without any marks or bruising. The improvements were gradual and subtle yet had a positive impact on relieving my tension, improving my mood and increasing my overall confidence. I will definitely be going back in a few months to see Dr Anoob to maintain the results and avoid jaw tension, as they’re supposed to last from four to six months (and up to nine after getting them regularly done).
To discover more, visit: dranoob.co.uk
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Imagery courtesy of Dr Anoob Pakkar-Hull and Getty Images.