What is Non Surgical Jaw Reduction?
At Westside Aesthetics, we often have patients who come in complaining about 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 signs can be subtle. Enlargement of the master muscle is one indication. Dentists will note wearing of the teeth that is typical of grinding or clenching. Some patients note morning tenderness and fatigue around their jaw area.
Unfortunately, with time things get worse–as you grind more, the muscles get stronger, as they get stronger, the grinding causes more damage to the teeth and temporo-mandibular joint. It becomes a terrible habit as the brain becomes used to reacting to stressful thoughts or situations by grinding and clenching.
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. Botox treatment of teeth grinding will also provide relief from the pain and discomfort of habitual grinding and clenching.
Candidates for Non Surgical Jaw Reduction in Los Angeles, CA
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.
During your free initial consultation, Dr. Rivkin will examine the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and masseter muscles in order to make sure that you are a candidate. He will give you the opportunity to view before and after photos so that you will know what to expect from the treatment.
It is important to note that Dr. Rivkin is conservative in the dosing of Botox. 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 jaw reduction treatment does not result in weakness of the bite or chewing. In addition, this procedure will not affect your smile. The effects can be relatively quick, however it may take up to six months before the visible shrinking of the muscle can be observed. The procedure is fast, relatively painless, and requires no anesthesia or downtime. Ice is used to numb the area for a short period prior to injecting Botox.
Botox injections should be repeated every 3 to 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. The ultimate goal is to break the habit of grinding and clenching by weakening the masseter muscles. Once the habit is broken, it may never return.
Pros and Cons of Non Surgical Jaw Reduction in Los Angeles, CA
For patients suffering from TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) or for those that are simply unhappy with a large jaw, this treatment offers an ideal solution. Although it takes several treatments, the results are significant and may become permanent after a few sessions, once the habit of grinding is squelched. If left untreated, grinding and clenching can cause serious problems. Non-surgical Jaw Reduction in Los Angeles often saves patients thousands of dollars in dental work down the road. Many patients report fewer headaches and significantly less tension, allowing them to have a full, restful night’s sleep. The procedure is quick, painless and extremely effective in reducing an oversized, masculine looking jawline.
Side effects include the possibility of discomfort, minor bruising or redness at the injection site. We minimize the chances of this by injecting with the smallest possible needle and being as gentle as possible with our Botox injections. We use ice to further prevent bruising and distraction methods to keep the procedure as comfortable as possible. Very rarely, this procedure can subtly change the smile if too much Botox is injected. For this reason, Dr. Rivkin and his staff are very conservative with how much Botox they use.
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. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.