Can Treating Masseter Muscles With Botox Cause Ear and Jaw Pain?

Botox is more than just a wrinkle-reducing and anti-aging treatment option. With its proven effectiveness and safety, a lot of people have also been getting Botox injections as an alternative to jaw surgery for facial slimming and jawline enhancement. Additionally, Botox treatments to the masseter muscles can improve the symptoms of medical conditions like temporomandibular disorders and bruxism. 

So can masseter Botox injections cause or worsen ear pain and jaw pain? There’s little evidence that jaw Botox can have ear pain and jaw pain as a side effect. Most of the time, the injections actually help relieve these conditions, which are associated with TMJ and teeth grinding. If these adverse reactions occur, they may be a sign that a trigger point was activated during injections, not enough Botox units were placed, or they may be caused by other factors. 

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Is It Normal To Have Earache and Jaw Pain After Masseter Botox Injections? 

Masseter Botox is a procedure that involves injecting the cosmetic neurotoxin on the facial muscles located at the back of the jaw. The masseters have an important role in mastication or chewing and it helps stabilize the temporomandibular joint which is located in front of the ears. 

Any pain that you feel on your ear and jaw likely originates from an injury or trauma to the masseter muscles or jaw joint. In every masseter Botox session, there’s always a slight risk that the needle may hit a trigger point and cause temporary pain in the ears and jaw muscles. Trigger points are sensitive areas in the muscles that can cause referred pain throughout the body.  

A trigger point near the ears and jaw can develop due to masseter muscle overuse. It’s also possible that you’ve formed a sensitive knot or point after the injection to the masseters which can cause jaw soreness, muscle tension, and acute pain which is not associated with TMJ.   

Another reason why you may have ear and jaw pain is that you didn’t receive enough botulinum toxin injections to the masseters. It’s important that you get the right amount of Botox units so that it can effectively relax the affected muscles, otherwise, the treatment will not produce the desired results and the TMJ pain and discomfort will not improve. 

The good thing is that earache and jaw pain are rare side effects of masseter Botox injections. The risk for these complications is also significantly decreased as long as you consult and have your procedure done by a board-certified cosmetic professional or expert injector. 

What To Do If You Experience Ear and Jaw Pain After Botox Procedure 

Earache and jaw pain after masseter Botox procedures should be temporary side effects and resolve on their own after a few weeks. If you experience persistent pain, you should immediately consult with a medical professional or contact your healthcare provider.

Here are some possible methods that can ease the discomfort from your ear pain and jaw pain after masseter Botox: 

1) Get additional Botox units 

A provider may suggest administering extra Botox units if they think the initial injections were insufficient. Upon confirming that the existing earache and jaw pain are still related with TMJ, additional injection of botulinum toxin to the masseter may help to finally relieve its symptoms. Follow-up injections are usually done after at least two weeks from the first Botox treatment. 

2) Take muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications 

Drug therapy like muscle relaxants can work to decrease muscle spasms and jaw tension to relieve dull pain from TMJ. You can also use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers like ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen to minimize discomfort from earaches. There are also available prescription ear drops that can provide relief from severe pain in the ears. 

3) Place warm compress or ice pack to the jaw muscles 

Heat therapy and cold compress are natural treatments that can provide pain relief from jaw tension and earaches. Applying moist heat can relax the jaw muscles and improve blood flow to reduce discomfort. On the other hand, cold compresses can manage swelling and inflammation to minimize the pain. 

4) Do gentle neck exercises 

There are several physical therapy exercises that you can do at home to manage your ear and jaw pain. For example, you may try to slowly move and rotate your neck and head to relieve the tense muscles surrounding the ears and jaw. You can also do manual therapy for the masseter muscles such as side-to-side jaw movements, chin tucks, and tongue lifts. 

Possible Causes Of Jaw and Ear Pain If They’re Not A Botox Side Effect  

Facial pain and aches in both the ears and jaw are not common side effects of masseter Botox injections. However, they’re not entirely a rare condition and they can be caused by several other factors. Some of the possible causes of earache and jaw pain are: 

  • Migraines - Patients with an intense chronic headache or migraine can have mild pain in the ears and may sometimes also experience tinnitus or ringing noises in the ears 
  • Sinusitis or sinus infection - If your nasal passages are blocked due to the common cold or if you have a medical history of allergies, you may experience fluid buildup in the ears and this pressure can lead to uncomfortable earaches 
  • Ear infections - An ear infection can be caused by bacteria or viruses that accumulate in the middle part of the ears. They usually resolve on their own but if you have chronic infections, they can lead to ear inflammation and pain. 
  • Myofascial pain disorder - This is a chronic pain condition that can cause jaw tension or earaches whenever a sensitive trigger point is lightly pressed or when a muscle is over-contracted. 
  • Broken jaw or injuries in the masseter muscle - If you’ve been involved in an accident or have a history of trauma to the head, your jaw muscles may have been broken which can be the cause of your ear and jaw pain. It’s best to see a healthcare provider first before getting masseter Botox to assure your safety. 

More Common Side Effects To Expect From Jaw Botox Injections 

Botox is generally a safe cosmetic procedure but there are still some minor effects that can occur after injections to the masseter muscles. Here are the common side effects that a patient should expect from masseter Botox procedures: 

  • Injection site reactions such as localized pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness
  • Mild headache 
  • Uneven or crooked smile
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Dry mouth
  • Limited jaw movement such as weakness in chewing or moving the mouth 

Most of these post-Botox reactions can occur in the first few days after the procedure. They’re usually not a cause of concern and will go away on their own within a week or two. 

Aftercare Reminders To Minimize Post-Botox Discomfort

To avoid potential complications and ensure that the Botox injections settle smoothly in the treated muscles, here are some of the best aftercare practices that patients should follow: 

  • Don’t engage in strenuous exercises for the first 48 hours after the injections
  • Limit sun exposure and avoid going in hot baths, saunas, or tanning beds
  • Keep an upright position and elevate your head for the first four hours after treatment
  • Avoid rubbing, touching, or massaging the areas injected with Botox 
  • Don’t consume alcohol and blood-thinner medications for a few days after Botox 
  • Apply ice packs to help the swelling and bruising go down 
  • Consume soft foods and avoid chewy foods for the first few days after masseter Botox  

Why Many People Are Getting Masseter Botox Injections 

Masseter Botox injections offer both cosmetic and therapeutic benefits when injected to the jaw muscles. Here are some of the popular reasons why people choose to get masseter Botox treatments: 

  • Reduces tension headaches caused by frequent teeth grinding 
  • Decreases the size of jaw muscles to achieve a slimmer and more oval-shaped face 
  • Improves the appearance of a square jawline 
  • Provides significant reduction in pain from temporomandibular joint disorders
  • Enhances jaw joint movement and reduces joint pain 
  • Minimizes the occurrence of jaw clenching and teeth grinding 

Get Safe and Effective Botox Cosmetic Injections at Aesthetica

beautiful woman received a botox injection in her jawline from a professional cosmetic doctor

As long as the masseter Botox is done by an experienced cosmetic provider, the treatment shouldn’t cause any adverse effects like ear pain and jaw pain. Overall, masseter Botox injections are safe and they provide more benefits than risks for patients who want to enhance their jawline and improve their TMJ disorders. 

Here at Aesthetica, our team of highly-trained injectors and cosmetic practitioners can help you achieve your desired jaw Botox results without the unwanted risks and complications. Your safety is our utmost concern and we strive to treat each client with the highest level of care in their visit. Call us today and schedule your Botox consultation with one of our specialists.

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