We’ll go out on a limb here and assume you have your fair share of stressors. Stress can take any number of forms, but they’re rarely beneficial to your mind or your body. If you’re like so many of our patients, you might hold tension in your jaw and not even realize it—at least, not in the moment.
Holding tension in your jaw can eventually lead to all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms. Some of these side effects can include soreness and stiffness in the jaw, headaches, grinding your teeth, and tooth damage. It can even affect the shape of your jawline.
At Turkle & Associates, there aren’t many stressors we can help you with, but we do offer masseter Botox in Indianapolis to provide you with tension relief and jawline slimming.
What Is the Masseter Muscle?
The masseter may not be your biggest muscle, but it is one of the strongest for its size. Located on either side of the face, your masseter muscles extend from the back of your cheeks to your lower jaw. Without your masseter muscles, you wouldn’t be able to chew your food.
You may see a resemblance in the words masseter and masticate. We don’t need to get into the history of the words, but let’s just say it eventually goes back to the Greeks. Long story short, your masseter muscles are your chewing muscles.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the official term for involuntarily clenching your jaw and/or grinding your teeth. For most people, this happens primarily at night (especially teeth grinding), but bruxism can be just as much a daytime condition for others.
Stress and anxiety are often linked to bruxism. Over time, bruxism can lead to damaged teeth, pain in your jaw, and an enlarged or bulging jawline.
Think about it as though you were exercising your masseter muscles without knowing it. The masseter muscles are no different from other muscles in that the more you contract and exercise them, the larger and stronger they become.
One of the leading causes of bruxism is overactive and over-exercised masseter muscles. By the time it becomes an issue, relaxing them can be harder than you’d think. But don’t let that get you down—masseter Botox in Indianapolis can make all the difference.
What Is Botox?
Your chewing muscles are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Botox. Botox has earned its status as a household name through decades of safe and successful use as a wrinkle-reducing injection treatment.
The link between bruxism and wrinkles comes down to how Botox works. As a neuromodulator, Botox is first and foremost a muscle relaxer. Other neuromodulators include Jeuveau, Daxxify, and Xeomin.
These neuromodulators all use the same basic mechanism for smoothing out wrinkles by relaxing the muscles underneath. By injecting botulinum toxin A into muscles, the muscles are temporarily relaxed to the point of no longer pushing and pulling your skin into furrows.
While Botox and other neuromodulators are primarily used for cosmetic purposes, their ability to relax overactive muscles makes them extremely useful in treating health concerns like headaches, migraines, and bruxism caused by hypertrophic (enlarged) masseter muscles.
Is Botox Safe?
When used by a licensed and experienced injector, Botox is safe and well-tolerated by most people. According to the Mayo Clinic, harm and unintended effects from Botox are most often the result of improper use.
The key to a safe and effective Botox treatment is all in the provider. Our licensed and highly skilled injectors at Turkle & Associates are fully trained and equipped to provide you with the best possible experience and the best possible results.
What is Masseter Botox?
Masseter Botox is simply Botox injections for relaxing the masseter muscles. But masseter Botox can also refer to masseter-relaxing injections of other neuromodulators.
The treatment works by injecting a neuromodulator directly into the masseter muscles on both sides of the face and jaw. Dosage varies depending on the unique needs of each patient, but our providers at Turkle & Associates will carefully adjust each dose to relax your jaw without completely immobilizing your masseter muscles or interfering with everyday movement.
Benefits of Masseter Botox in Indianapolis
Botox injected into the masseter muscles can relieve tension and soreness in the jaw as well as prevent involuntary clenching and teeth grinding. Patients often report feeling more physically relaxed and experiencing better sleep after their treatment.
By relaxing the masseter muscles and preventing you from involuntarily clenching them, masseter Botox can, over time, reduce the size of these muscles. As with other muscles, when you don’t exercise them, they eventually shrink.
After getting masseter Botox in Indianapolis, many of our patients enjoy their relief and results for about 3 months. That being said, results duration can vary from person to person–sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.
How to Naturally Relax the Masseter Muscle/How to Naturally Relieve Jaw Tension
Avoid Hard-to-Chew Foods
Avoiding certain foods like chewing gum, apples, carrots, and hard nuts can help reduce the strain on your jaw and masseter muscles. Chewing ice is another thing to avoid if you’re concerned about masseter tension. Many people do this without really thinking about it, so it might take some time and practice to change the habit.
Apply a Compress
Try applying a hot or a cold compress to the area at the back of your lower jaw to help soothe and relax stiff or sore masseter muscles. This can be done at any time of day, but many people find it especially helpful at night before going to bed.
Gently stretching the masseter muscles can be a good way to relieve soreness and improve mobility over time. Start by finding the masseter muscles by lightly clenching your jaw and feeling for them with your hands. You should be able to locate them toward the back of your lower jaw and under your cheekbones.
Once you’ve found your masseter muscles, slowly open your mouth while pressing on them with the heels of your hands. Try to open your mouth as wide as you can without causing pain. Hold that stretch for 3 seconds and then return your jaw to the closed position. Repeat this stretch 10 times.
Find your masseter muscles like you did for the stretching exercise, then use 2 to 3 fingers to apply gentle pressure to them in an up-and-down or circular motion. Keep your jaw relaxed as you massage the muscles. They may feel tender at first, but this should improve as you continue to massage them. Do not continue if you experience a worsening of symptoms.
What to Expect From Your Masseter Botox Treatment
We’ll get to know you and your medical history, and we’ll examine your masseter muscles. If we determine you’re a good fit for masseter Botox, we’ll create a custom treatment plan for you and get you scheduled for a masseter Botox appointment.
Your skilled, certified injector will assess your masseter muscles, mark the injection sites, and apply a numbing agent, if needed. After determining the proper dosage for relieving your symptoms, they will inject the neuromodulator directly into the masseter muscles on either side of your face. The treatment usually takes 30 minutes or less.
As with other Botox treatments, such as crow’s feet Botox and bunny lines Botox, results tend to last for 3 months, and most of our patients begin to notice their results about 2 weeks after treatment. Tension relief usually happens before noticeable jawline slimming. The latter can sometimes require multiple treatment sessions to achieve the full effect.
Looking for Masseter Botox in Indianapolis?
Turkle & Associates is a premier provider of Masseter Botox in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Dr. Turkle is a top plastic surgeon in Indianapolis and is dual board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
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