So over the past three or four years, something funky has been happening to my jaw—it’s been growing—but only on the left side. Weird, right? Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. We didn’t know the reason or cause, but one thing was for sure: it was continually getting bigger, and fast!
I went to several specialists who were a bit baffled. They suggested that I get an MRI and a CT Scan to make sure there wasn’t some sort of tumor growing on the side of my jaw. (Scary, right??). But everything came back clear and we didn’t find anything. (a blessing…but also frustrating to not have answers…grrrrrrr). They diagnosed it as masseter hypertrophy. Which is recognized as an enlargement of one or both masseter (jaw) muscles.
Doctors finally recommended that I try Botox. Yes, that little shot that people often associate with purely cosmetic purposes actually has lots of other medical uses. I was surprised, too!!!
Through the power of social media, I discovered Enlighten MD—a medical spa that had been posted on Instagram by one of my favorite bloggers, Courtney Kerr. They’re in Dallas, it was worth a shot (haha…pun intended) for me to try their services to fix my bulging jawline.
When I met with Kari, the owner of, the first time, she took a series of pictures of my face and jaw area in order to capture every angle and get a true sense of what was going on. Sure enough, she suggested Botox, as well, in order to decrease the size of the muscle and re-train my chewing patterns (sounds cray-cray, right??).
Turns out I had been unconsciously using the left side of my face more—whether chewing, facial expressions, etc—that it became much stronger and grew a larger muscle as a result. Who knew!? But all of this strengthening over the years caused a pretty noticeable unevenness to my face that made me not only confused, but also a bit self-conscious.
BRING ON THE BOTOX.
Under the nurse practitioner’s care, I went through three rounds of Botox at a very gradual pace. Because the mass had pushed my chin and made my jaw unbalanced, we wanted to tread with caution when it came to how fast we used the Botox. In all, I received 65 units, which is actually quite a lot compared to the typical 20-35 units. That’s just how much it took to reduce the size of the mass because it was so big!
The staff was incredible. I felt so comfortable in their care, knowing that they were putting very strategic thought into where they were placing the injections, how much was needed, etc.
The result is AMAZING….here is a picture from before and after botox! I can actually feel my jaw bone now, whereas before it was covered with so much tissue and muscle.
Doctors said I will have to continue with the Botox once per year to maintain the look, or else the muscle will continue to grow. I guess that’s just the way my jaw shape is and how the muscle wants to grow. But I’m so thankful for modern medicine that can help with these things!
NOTHING will diminish my smile, but now I’m thrilled to have my smile match how I feel on the inside.