I first found out about Botox for TMJ after seeing Bethenny Frankel’s intense jawline transformation on the Real Housewives of New York.
Having had injections to treat her jaw clenching, a side effect was how much slimmer and refined her face looked.
I’ve always known I grind my teeth at night and have a nasty habit of clenching my jaw, but 2020 saw it worsen to the point where I often cried at the constant ache in my jaw.
When my dentist warned me I was at risk of shattering my molars if the condition continued, I asked him if Botox was an option – relieved when he said yes.
With my dentist and GP’s blessing, I went ahead and started looking for doctors near me.
Many clinics, spa’s, aestheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons offer Botox, so it was a little overwhelming looking for the right place.
I settled on a medical injectables specialist who worked out of a specialist clinic – I even researched the doctor extensively and found great reviews and articles in various publications.
With Bethenny Frankel’s jawline in mind, I booked an appointment and trekked up to Sydney to meet him.
In the office…
Overall, I was shocked at how quick the whole thing was.
I spoke to the doctor and explained what my dentist had told me about the impact of grinding on my teeth, the location and severity of the pain, and a few other lifestyle factors.
He felt my jaw and asked me to do a few facial exercises and confirmed that the left side was worse and pulling my jaw out of alignment. To balance this out, my left side got 45 units while the right got 35.
We spent maybe 20 minutes as he talked me through how the Botulinum toxin works to block signals from the nerves to the muscles, thereby reducing my ability to clench in the first place.
My doctor used the german brand Xeomin, which he opted for because it contains the pure Botulinum protein – other brands like Botox and Dysport supposedly contain a blend of other proteins that can cause you to build a resistance.
Overall the effects should last 6-9 months, starting with reduced pain in about a week and a follow up appointment in three weeks to see if I need any more units.
Satisfied that I was a candidate, we went ahead to the injections.
I sat back in his chair, extremely nervous.
I hate needles, I’m squeamish, and I was scared to be there alone.
He wiped any makeup and sunscreen off the area with a sterile wipe, and told me to prepare for four injections in each side.
I winced as a gloved hand held my jaw and prepared for the worst – and it was over.
Each injection simply felt like being touched lightly with a piece of metal, no pinch, sting, or stab. All four shots were delivered in about ten seconds and it was over.
Onto the other side, and I felt perhaps on little sting that I would say was half as painful as having a single hair plucked. I was pleasantly shocked at how quick and painless the procedure itself was.
The doctor massaged my jaw for a few seconds, and briefed me on the do’s and don’ts of the next few hours.
No touching, rubbing, or massaging the area. No heat or cold applied to the area, no exercise, no makeup, and then I’m fine to do as I pleased.
I felt a little cautious afterwards, I was nervous to talk or smile in case I somehow messed things up.
But other than that, I felt completely normal.
Even in the days that followed, I didn’t notice any changes or feel a difference in my jaw.
I awaited the one-week mark to start feeling less pain, and I would say that my previously agonising jaw diminished to a faint ache between days 5-10.
My three week check up confirmed that my masseter muscles felt significantly softer and my results were more or less perfect. The doctor confirmed that hopefully with a few rounds of treatment, my muscle memory would change and over time my muscles would forget how to clench as badly as they once had.
I had hoped to see an evening in my jaw muscles by this point, but I still looked the same (tragically).
Overall I’m thrilled with the jaw pain and with any luck, I’ll have Bethenny Frankel style glow-up in the months that come.