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Masseter Botox: What to Know About the Off-Label Treatment That’s All Over TikTok

Some practitioners, like Dr. Soni, use a local anesthetic cream and ice on the area, others just go straight to injecting. If you’re particularly squeamish about needles, this is something to consider when choosing your injector. 

You’re injected on both sides of the face and the amount of units used depends on your needs and your injector’s preferences. “I typically start with only 15 units per side,” says Dr. Marchbein. “I have patients who need 25 to 30 per side.”

Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons require a second visit after approximately two to four weeks to check on your progress and top-up if needed. Unlike fillers, Botox takes a while to work, so it may take a week or two to see (and feel) full results. 

What is recovery like for masseter Botox?

If you go to someone who is highly skilled and uses a light touch, there will be minimal evidence that a needle has touched your skin. “You can do everything normally afterwards. I just say avoid heavy drinking the same night to minimize any chance of bruising, but that’s literally it,” says Dr. Soni. 

What are the risks of masseter Botox? 

Since injecting a neuromodulator into the masseter muscle is not yet FDA-approved, there isn’t a ton of research into the long-term effects. But in terms of immediate side effects, “it’s possible that Botox [could be] injected too far forward in the muscle, which can cause things like drooling and issues with the smile muscles,” warns Dr. Soni. These side effects can last from a few weeks to months, depending on the person. Another issue to be aware of is potential bulging of the jawline if the correct parts of the muscle aren’t injected: “Depending on how the neuromodulator is injected or where it’s injected, sometimes other portions of the muscle will kind of stick out and it almost looks wavy,” says Dr. Marchbein. If this happens, it, counterintuitively, might be a sign you need to see your injector again for more neurotoxin. “If the masseter is so thickened, maybe the amount of units we started with wasn’t enough. It might be treating the superficial portion of the masseter and not the deeper portion of it [causing the bulging].”

Before choosing your provider, do research to make sure they have adequate experience in the procedure. You’re well within your right to ask questions, like, How long have you been doing masseter Botox? or Do you have any before and afters and testimonials I can see? to make sure ithe doctor is the right fit for you. 

What is the cost of the procedure? 

As with many injectable procedures, the cost really depends on your location as well as the way a practitioner charges for treatments. Some injectors charge by units of neuromodulator, while others have different fees for different areas of the face. On average, masseter Botox costs between $750 and $1,000. Since it’s an off-label treatment used for aesthetic purposes only, this isn’t a claim that you can submit to insurance.

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