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October 25, 2018

We Tried It: Jaw Reduction Just Like Bethenney Frankel

I’m not ashamed to admit that my introduction to jaw reduction was the Real Housewives of NYC. Along with epsom salts baths it’s  one life’s simple pleasures. Over the last couple of seasons I couldn’t help but notice that Bethenny Frankel’s face had softened. Our Skinny Girl’s very distinct, angular jaw line had been seemingly been chiseled away. Don’t get me wrong—she looks great! But the beauty reporter in me couldn’t imagine how this was possible. I took to to the internets where Frankel was quoted openly discussing the Botox injections she’d been receiving to treat her TMJ pain. I could get behind this. Despite my best mindfulness efforts and a night guard, I clench in my sleep and wake up with a sore jaw. I’ve noticed that my face shape has changed ever so slightly because of enlarged mandible muscles. I can really see them when I clench in the mirror and I don’t like it!

Curious about using botox to treat my TMJ and expanding jawline, I went to the best plastic surgeon in NYC on—where else—Park Avenue. Dr. Mehdi Sina of Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery confirmed that Botox and Dysport can be used to treat TMJ pain by injecting it into the mandible muscle. Over time, the muscle loses strength so that it can no longer contract with such intensity. The bonus is a less pronounced or atrophied jawline. Bethenny’s Botox regime was not only alleviating her grinding habit by paralyzing the muscle that caused it, but shrinking her mandibles in the process. A two-fer!

Dr. Sina discussed my TMJ symptoms determined that my mandibles would respond to treatment (I am a “moderate” case). We opted for Dysport over Botox (same price, same benefits, slightly different formulation) because its effect tends to last longer on me. After marking the scene of the crime along my jaw, he quickly injected each muscles several times. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes and was practically painless—really, that’s just my drama-face above. Only a little ice-pack compression afterward and I was out the door!

One week later and my TMJ pain was gone. Like, really truly gone. I massaged my mandibles and there was no soreness or tightness. A few weeks later and I could see a difference in my face. It was subtle—no one else said anything to me—but when I clenched in the mirror, there were no muscles popping out! This photo was taken about a month after my first round of Dysport. You can see a more tapered or inverted triangle shape (right), versus the squared off jaw I’d started to develop (left):

Dr. Sina had me come back in for a little more Dysport a few weeks later to really seal the deal, but the visible results didn’t change much more after that. As for my TMJ pain, it is GONE. I love knowing that I’m not hurting myself and my teeth in my sleep! With most patience, the amount of Botox or Dysport required decreases over time—as does the frequency of treatments needed. With any luck, this should only be an annual thing. Cost will vary depending on the size of your muscles, and number of units or vials required to treat, but expect to spend $1000-1500.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I’ll do my best! Better yet, book a consult with Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery. They are pros at this, not to mention the NICEST people in what can be a superficial industry (says the girl who watches RHONY…). 

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    ABOUT ELIZABETH
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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