American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Botox to the jawline – what you need to know

botulinum toxin to the jawline

Your facial contour is your first impression. A sharp jawline can give a face the structure it needs and help you look strong and healthy. And in the world of selfies and social media, we are spending more time analyzing our facial structure and improving our appearance.

Some of this is genetic. Even in youth and at ideal body weight, some faces never have the well-defined jaw they desire. Others have a strong facial contour, but with age or weight changes, they begin to lose that chiseled look.

So what does botulinum toxin do?

Botulinum toxin is used cosmetically to paralyze the facial muscles. In the jaw, we can use neurotoxins in the masseter muscle. This is one of many muscles that helps us chew, and you can feel it as a deep prominence along your jawline when you clench your teeth down. It is also a muscle that is sometimes tight in individuals who clench their jaw or grind their teeth at night.

Injections of botulinum toxin to this area will act to weaken the masseter muscle. Functionally, this improves the pain that some people experience in their jaw and also alleviates uncomfortable night grinding. From a cosmetic perspective, this will also work to slim the muscle and create a more narrow lower face and sleeker jaw appearance. It will take a face that is more rectangular in appearance and create a more heart-shaped or inverted triangle type shape.

What else can be done to treat this area?

There are a variety of noninvasive procedures we can offer to treat this part of the face. Botulinum toxin to the masseter muscle will slim the lower face and jaw. Products such as dermal fillers can be used to build up the jaw bone and chin and create an even more chiseled and sculpted look. This can create very crisp angles to the jaw and chin if your native anatomy just isn't as pronounced as you'd like it to be. These fillers are done deeply atop your bone and can last as long as one to two years. Often multiple syringes are needed to achieve the desired look.

If it's a double chin in your selfies that is bothering you, addressing the excess fat in that area can also create a sleeker facial appearance. Kybella is a product that can be injected into the fatty area of a double chin to literally melt away fat and improve facial appearance. Sometimes multiple treatments are needed to achieve the desired results, but the effects are permanent and well worth it for the improved look.

What should you do next?

If you are interested in improving the appearance of your facial contour, meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is your first step to a chiseled jawline. Your surgeon will perform a careful facial analysis and present with you non-invasive as well as surgical options to achieve your goal.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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