Botox injections generally have an association with upper face treatments such as smoothing frown lines. However, Botox has applications around the face. A treatment growing in popularity is masseter Botox which can help slim the face and also treat TMJ in some cases. With some bad results making their rounds on the internet, patients sometimes ask, “Can you still smile after masseter Botox?”
Yes, as long as the Botox injections are administered correctly, patients should maintain the full range of expression. A droopy mouth, lopsided smile, or inability to smile occurs when Botox is mistakenly injected into the orbicularis oculi or zygomatic major muscles which are the two muscles primarily responsible for smiling.
These muscles are somewhat near the masseter and so if the injections are performed too high, there is a potential of hitting these muscles. However, this is exceptionally rare, especially when seeing an experienced injector. It may be more common for people undergoing TMJ treatment because injections are performed higher on the face. Even then, it is extremely rare.
Dr. Jonov is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in plastic surgeries of the face, breast, and body at Seattle Plastic Surgery.