Botox to Treat Masseter Hypertrophy

What Is Masseter?

In humans, the masseter is a muscle used in mastication. It is strong and superficial and is one of the defining features where facial shapes are considered. In fact, per square inch area, the masseter is the strongest muscle of the human body. The masseter is also known as the ‘thinker’ muscle, because it is the place where people scratch or keep their finger on when they are deep in thought/ concentration.

The masseter also determines the shape of a face – round face shape, square face shape, oval shape face or heart shaped face.

What Is Masseter Hypertrophy And How Does It Occur?

When people have the habit of habitually clenching or grinding their teeth (bruxism), or even chew gum, the masseter muscle can become enlarged. The unequal muscle enlargement can be unilateral or bilateral, and the face can become asymmetric. This can cause pain and the enlargement of the muscle will change the shape of the face. The spasm and other changes in skeletal muscles might lead some to seek medical attention for the same.

Botolinum Toxin (Botox)

Botolinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. Commercially, it is produced for medical, cosmetic and research uses. There are two major types in the commercial variety, botulinum toxin type A and botulinum toxin type B. It is acutely lethal in large doses and must be administered with caution. The commercial form of Botolinum toxin is marketed under the brand name called Botox (the most common brand) and is made by Allergan.

Cosmetic Uses Of Botox

Usually associated with treatments that control aging, Botolinum Toxin (Botox) can be used to erase wrinkles or other signs of aging or prevent them from forming again by paralyzing the facial muscles. The results of this can take up to 2 weeks to show completely.

Botox is most the most common answer for the question: how to change face shape?  It can be used as a treatment method for changing the shape of face, be it a round face shape, square face shape, oval face shape or heart shape face.

Medicinal Uses Of Botox

But of late, Botox is being increasingly used in medical fields, in areas where other invasive cosmetic surgeries are either not needed or not effective. Botox injections are used to treat the most common masseter hypertrophy (enlargement of jaw muscles) that, in extreme cases, can cause facial disfigurement and in mild cases can cause uncomfortable pain.

Botolinum Toxin (Botox) type A is injected directly into the muscle. It is a powerful neurotoxin that interferes with neurotransmitter mechanism, causing selective losses in muscle functions and subsequent decrease in muscle mass.

Masster Hypertrophy A Medical / Cosmetic Analysis

Cosmetically, masseter hypertrophy creates asymmetrical facial muscle enlargement. The masseter muscle can create a swelling in the jaw, and even if it is bilateral (on both sides of the middle of the face) the swelling need to be even. This is easily noticeable because it occurs in the face, and a misshapen chin is a prominent feature that will create a different impression.

In some women, masseter hypertrophy demands immediate treatment because the disfigurement might cause tough looking square jaw lines that might cause sharper edges and give the face a rough look.

Medically, masseter hypertrophy can quickly turn painful. The treatment can vary based on how intense the pain is. But most surgeons prefer to go for Botox treatments or surgery to change the shape of the face and to quickly arrest the swelling. In mild cases, masseter hypertrophy can be uncomfortable and painful but in rare cases, it can completely render normal jaw movement impossible. Surgeons prefer jaw surgery and other treatment methods including botox procedure to completely cure masseter hypertrophy.

Controlling Master Hypertrophy With Botolinum Toxin (Botox)

Masseter hypertrophy leading to an asymmetrical face can be cured for both medical and cosmetic purposes by botox procedures. This is more relevant in modern days because of masseter hypertrophy being developed as a condition during stress induced bruxism. Surgeons use the botox procedure for treatment of masseter hypertrophy. Usually three injections are administered in the masseter area with a predetermined unit limit of Botox and the swelling reduces gradually with complete results showing in a month’s time. Each of these treatments are performed at 2 monthly intervals. Once the masseter reduces in size, by cell apoptosis, the results of the decrease in size of the masseter muscle lasts forever.

Botox is a long lasting, but not a permanent treatment for masseter hypertrophy. Surgeons suggest using jaw surgery as a more permanent solution for both bruxism and masseter hypertrophy. While jaw surgery aims at permanently changing the jaw structure, surgeons use this surgery method with caution once the patients do not actually prefer / or are not satisfied with Botox injections or their non permanent nature.

Dr. Debraj Shome is the best facial plastic surgeon in Mumbai, India. His ‘The Esthetic Clinics’ has performed many cosmetic and medical surgeries, completely altering many lives for the better with his effective treatment methods. A renowned surgeon, his testimonials are proof of his surgery techniques and he believes that plastic surgery can allow you to lead a more fulfilled life. So you know even with Masseter Hypertrophy, you do not need to panic beacause you know the specialist is just an appointment away.


About Dr. Debraj Shome

Debraj Shome-2
Debraj Shome, MD, DO, DNB, FRCS (Glasgow), FICO (USA), MNAMS, MBA (Healthcare Management, Vanderbilt University, USA), is Consultant Facial Plastic Surgeon, Oculoplastic Surgeon & Cosmetic Surgeon at Nova Specialty Surgery, Mumbai, India..Read more

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