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Think of Botox and often the first thing that comes to mind is a prematurely frozen face struggling to show a modicum of emotion. 

I always assumed that the only Botox injections I'd ever need would be for wrinkles. But aesthetic treatments, when done correctly, can do a whole lot more than smoothing lines - something I discovered when I tried masseter Botox for the very first time. 

As a beauty editor one perk of the job is getting the opportunity to test different treatments. Dabbling in neuromodulators like Botox for my 'elevens,' the wrinkle I detest between my brows, is something I've been doing since I hit 30 but when an aesthetic doctor suggested I try masseter Botox to cure my weekly headaches, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Masseter Botox can last from four to six months© vitapix
Masseter Botox can last from four to six months

I didn't consider myself a suitable candidate for masseter Botox as I don't grind my teeth or feel like my jaw needed slimming - a side effect of the treatment. But unaware of what to expect and liking the sound of fewer headaches, I said yes.

The results were jaw-dropping

Sitting comfortably in the clinic chair, I felt the needle enter my jaw muscle. A pinch but nothing I hadn't experienced before with forehead treatments. A few minutes later and I was out the door, patiently waiting for the toxin to kick in.

I had been experiencing weekly headaches and jaw tension similar to the feeling of chewing on a hard toffee for hours, up until this point. The permanent ache I'd lived with I assumed was normal when sensitive to stress but after 3 weeks, I began to notice just how at ease I seemed - a feat for someone who's been anxious for 10+ years. My jaw muscles were relaxed, my whole nervous system seemed to settle in a way I hadn't felt before and my anxiety dropped a few notches. The toxin had kicked in

How does masseter Botox work?

As with anti-wrinkle treatments, Botox (Botulinum Toxin-A) blocks the signals telling your jaw muscles to contract. The masseter muscle plays a significant role in chewing but sometimes it can over develop and lead to clenching.

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"This can result in a bulky appearance of the lower part of the face and symptoms such as headaches and jaw pain, commonly known as temporomandibular disorder," says aesthetic doctor, Dr Asha Chhaya. Some people tend to carry a lot of tension in their jaw muscles and this can exacerbate symptoms. 

How long does masseter Botox last?

Like any neuromodulator treatment, the effects are temporary and subsequent treatments are needed to maintain results. "Typically masseter Botox can last from 4-6 months," explains aesthetic doctor, Dr Wassim Taktouk. "This depends on the individual, some can feel the benefits for a little longer."

Does masseter Botox slim your face?

Aside from reducing jaw tension, masseter Botox has been shown to slim down a wide jawline in some cases. "Muscle relaxing injections are effective in slimming the face, but only if the masseter muscle is overdeveloped. If you clench your teeth and notice these muscles become more visible, muscle relaxing injections treatment could help," says Dr Asha. 

How much does masseter Botox cost?

Treatment costs will vary between clinics but they can range between £150-£500. If you're considering masseter Botox, always visit a trained, qualified professional.