Botox (Botulinum Toxin) is part of our culture now, after decades of use for cosmetic purposes. As most of you know, it works by ‘neutralizing’ the ability of certain muscles to contract, when injected carefully into various areas of the face and/or body.

It’s most popular for eliminating the frown lines between the eyebrows, and the finer lines in the crow’s feet region of  the eyes. But Botox is also an often-used treatment for a growing list of cosmetic and medical needs; around the mouth, the neck, nasal tip, forehead, underarms for excessive sweating, injections to reduce migraine pain, and certain muscle disorders.

Now, also growing in popularity, is Botox for Jaw Slimming. Can Botox really change the shape of your face? Well, yes, temporarily, and maybe even set the stage for a permanent change.


Botox, and other neuro-toxins, work by stopping the nerves that cause muscles to contract.  If you flex your bicep, you’ll notice that it appears much more distinct than when it is relaxed; it appears rounder and more prominent.

You also have muscles all through your face, the most prominent ones, involved in the action of chewing.  Lots of people are just born with more prominent jaws – both bone and muscle.

And, people with moderate jaws, may develop a more prominent, or larger- appearing jaw, due to habit.

Patients who are disturbed by this type of jawline appearance, often complain of a “flared” look at the bottom of the face.


These are some of the most common culprits in cases of people who’ve developed larger jaw muscles.

  • Some people don’t even realize they have a ‘tooth-grinding’ problem, because it often occurs during sleep. Dentists can assist with minimizing the damage to teeth often caused by this condition.
  • Some people have a habit of clenching the jaw muscles frequently throughout the day, in response to stress, or concentration.
  • and, some people develop larger jaw muscles by frequent gum-chewing.


Carefully-placed injections of Botox will relax the jaw muscle to a degree.  Patients are still able to chew, of course, but the degree to which they’re able to “clench” is diminished, allowing the muscle to rest and settle down.

This procedure is also medically known as Masseter Reduction with Botox (referring to the masseter muscle).

  •  When the jaw muscle relaxes (similar to the example of the flexed bicep), the appearance of the tissue around the jaw area also changes.  In many cases, there is a noticeable reduction in the size of the jaw area. It will appear smoother, and less prominent. The angle of the jaw may appear altered; a sharp square angle can be softened. As a result, in many cases, the shape of the face does change, with a gentler angle, and more oval appearance.

Photo by Dr. Lepore


Photo by Dr. Lepore







  •  As with most Botox treatments, the results are temporary, and may need to be repeated every 3 to 6 months to maintain the results.  Over a period of time though, the affected muscles may have shrunk, displaying an actual reduction in bulk or size. After a number of treatments, the muscles may have relaxed to a point where fewer treatments will be needed in the future.

(Note: Jaw reduction with Botox is effective, and commonly performed.  To date, it is still considered an “off-label” use of Botox. These are treatments not yet officially approved by the FDA, but under study, in a lengthy process.)

It should also be noted that the results of face slimming, or jaw reduction with Botox, should not be compared with surgical reductions of the face and jawline. Those are much more complex procedures, with permanent results.

Many patients are choosing to undergo injections to reduce the jaw, either as a ‘trial run’ for further treatment, or as a treatment that’s simple and meets their cosmetic goals on its own.

[Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Vincent Lepore, and his associate, Dr. Eric Li, offer Botox for Jaw Reduction in their San Jose facility. Patients from throughout Silicon Valley come to Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Associates for a full range of surgical and non-surgical Cosmetic treatments.  Please call to schedule your complimentary Cosmetic Consultation, at 408-356-4241.]





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