An overly developed and defined jaw line can throw an otherwise well balanced face out of whack. It could be caused by the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) which holds the jaw bone to the skull and when muscular spasms cause the joint to become inflamed, the effect is extremely painful. Or perhaps you simply have overdeveloped muscles on one side. Whatever the case, patients may be able to find relief from an unusual source - Botox.
The botulinum toxin, from which Botox is made, is a paralytic that blocks nerve signals and effectively freezes the muscles so that they no longer are active and therefore can't move - or spasm. When Botox is used cosmetically, the treated facial muscles are no longer able to tighten and cause wrinkles. Using it along the jawline, the physician is able to treat key muscles and reshape the patient's face.
Dr. Drew Ordon performs a treatment today on The Doctors with a patient who wanted to soften her jawline. The doctor explains that first a topical cream was applied to help numb the patient and make her more comfortable. Next he begins the injections. "This is an injection just in the muscle," he described. "We know how Botox works. It's going to take 24 to 48 hours to see the effect." He goes on to say that the treatment will last about 3-6 months.
Dr. Alexander Rivkin, a cosmetic surgeon who offers Botox in Los Angeles was recently featured on The Doctors treating a patient who suffers from TMJ because she grinds her teeth at night. After trying several traditional treatments for TMJ such as having her wisdom teeth removed, bite guards and even chiropractics with no success, she decided to try Botox. This is her second treatment with Dr. Rivkin and she raves about the results. There is even a cosmetic difference due to the relaxing of the jaw muscle. When the muscle is flexed, it creates a more "masculine" appearance. When it relaxes, the face takes on the more natural and feminine oval shape.
Just like Botox for cosmetic use, the treatment wears off after about 3 months. For some patients, one treatment may suffice as it breaks the cycle of teeth grinding and therefore stops the root cause of the TMJ. It should be noted that this is not an FDA approved use for Botox and you should seek out a physician familiar with using Botox for this purpose.