Sue Curran| August 12, 2019
Botulinum Toxin is not just for anti-wrinkle treatment. A substance used by the cosmetic aesthetic industry for decades, you can have Botulinum Toxin injections in the Masseter muscle.
Having said that, Botulinum Toxin injections in the Masseter muscle is a lesser-known treatment. The Masseter muscle joins your lower jaw to your cheekbone and is used for opening and closing the mouth when talking, chewing, etc. This muscle can become thickened and enlarged through everyday activities such as chewing gum, and the result is a very square, masculine-looking jaw.
Botulinum Toxin injections in the Masseter muscle were initially popular in Asia before the medical use of this injectable material was quickly spotted for dealing with people who grind their teeth and clench their jaws. These actions cause several problems. Firstly, continually grinding or clenching the teeth can result in physical damage. The teeth can start to wear down; they can be displaced, and in some instances, they can crack. The second outcome of this behaviour is that people who grind their teeth or constantly clench their jaws can have blinding migraines. Migraines can happen on waking if they grind their teeth in their sleep.
Once a doctor has diagnosed that a patient is grinding their teeth, they often give them teeth guards to use at night. Some people may grind through the guards, so this is not really a solution to the problem. It is also unlikely to stop the headaches, as it hasn’t stopped the behaviour that causes them.
Does this condition sound familiar to you?
This is where Botulinum Toxin injections in the Masseter muscle come in. In the same way that these injections relax the muscles that cause a gummy smile or wrinkles, they can help to relax the Masseter muscle. If you suffer from clenching your jaw tightly, biting down hard, or grinding your teeth, this treatment can help. All these actions can cause problems with your teeth and change the appearance of your face, as the more you exercise the muscle, the larger and thicker it gets.
The treatment for this condition is quick and requires no downtime; a Botulinum Toxin injection into the Masseter muscle is all it takes. The results may take up to fourteen days to be visible, and the effects of the treatment will last for around six months. When you start to get headaches again, it is usually a sign that you need another treatment.
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