Origin, Operate, and Associated Circumstances

Very important for chewing, the masseter muscle is accountable for the elevation of the jaw. Varied circumstances can have an effect on the masseter, probably inflicting ache and muscle enlargement.

Circumstances akin to enamel grinding may cause masseter muscle ache. You possibly can deal with and handle these circumstances with a number of strategies and practices.

This text will look into the situation and anatomy of the masseter muscle, its operate, and what circumstances can have an effect on it. It is going to additionally take a look at therapies for masseter muscle circumstances and workout routines to forestall rigidity. 

Masseter muscle location and anatomy 

black woman gazing up with her hand near her jawline

Nicola Harger/Stocksy United

The masseter muscle is a jaw muscle that begins on the zygomatic arch (the prominences of the cheek) and inserts alongside the angle and lateral floor of the mandibular ramus.

The masseteric artery, a department of the interior maxillary artery, delivers blood to the masseter muscle.

The trigeminal nerve’s mandibular division controls masseter motion.

The masseter muscle is one of many 4 muscle mass concerned in chewing, often known as mastication. When the muscle contracts, it forces the decrease jaw to raise and the mouth to shut. 

The three different muscle mass act by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which lies simply in entrance of the ear on all sides of the top.

The masseter is the strongest muscle within the physique primarily based on its weight, in keeping with the Library of Congress. When working alongside the remainder of the jaw muscle mass, it could actually shut the enamel with as much as 55 kilos of pressure on the incisors and 200 kilos of pressure on the molars.

A number of circumstances are associated to the masseter muscle.

Masseteric hypertrophy describes a masseter muscle that’s bigger than regular, on one or each side of the face. Causes embrace:

  • extreme mastication from chewing gum and consuming exhausting meals
  • temporomandibular dysfunction
  • enamel grinding

A distinguished masseter muscle can be a bodily trait as is frequent in some Asian populations.

Whereas masseteric hypertrophy is usually innocent, it could actually make the decrease jaw look extra angular, or sq.. It results in asymmetry if it includes just one facet of the face.

For some folks, masseteric hypertrophy is an aesthetic concern. They could search beauty remedy to melt the jawline. Therapy choices embrace surgical procedure, mouth splints, muscle leisure, and Botox. 

Bruxism, often known as enamel grinding, is usually resulting from stress and nervousness, in keeping with the Nationwide Well being Service. Signs can embrace:

You or a associate may hear the sound of grinding. Bruxism can happen when you’re awake or asleep.

As with masseteric hypertrophy, bruxism remedy and administration is usually conservative, akin to oral home equipment to guard your enamel. Botox injections are a doable remedy possibility. A 2019 evaluation of randomized managed trials confirmed that botulinum toxin sort A injections decreased the frequency of bruxism episodes.

Temporomandibular dysfunction

Your decrease jaw connects to the cranium on the TMJ. It’s a hinge-type joint that lets you open and shut your mouth and chew.

Temporomandibular issues (TMDs, however oftentimes known as TMJ) contain the joint and surrounding muscle mass, together with the masseter. Based on the American Affiliation of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, TMD causes embrace:

  • accidents
  • joint injury
  • power enamel grinding or clenching of the jaw
  • irritation of the muscle mass across the joint

TMDs may cause ache and disrupt jaw motion.

Therapy choices for masseter muscle circumstances 

There are various potential therapies for masseter muscle circumstances.

Muscle leisure workout routines therapeutic massage the masseter muscle and cut back facial ache. Gently kneading the jaw muscle mass in a gradual round movement for five minutes, 3 instances a day, will help calm down the jaw muscle mass.

If masseter muscle self-massage doesn’t relieve signs, think about skilled bodily remedy.

Acupuncture is one other doable mode of remedy, though there’s restricted proof it relieves mandibular ache, in keeping with the Nationwide Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Analysis (NIDCR).

To cut back irritation of the TMJ and muscle mass, you may attempt:

  • consuming tender meals
  • making use of heat or chilly compresses to the jaw
  • taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine

Managing habits that may result in masseter muscle issues can also be necessary. This may occasionally contain cognitive behavioral remedy or biofeedback, for instance.

Find out about methods to cease enamel grinding.

A mouth splint or nightguard protects enamel from grinding. A dentist can create a guard to suit precisely over your higher or decrease enamel.

Masseter muscle Botox injections are a possible remedy for each bruxism and masseteric hypertrophy, in keeping with a 2021 evaluation. Botulinum toxin blocks the discharge of acetylcholine from nerves, thereby inhibiting muscle contractions on the website of injection.

Botox injections decreased the thickness of the masseter muscle and decrease jaw in folks with masseteric hypertrophy. The outcomes are from a small 2017 research revealed within the Korean Journal of Orthodontics.

A literature evaluation revealed in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical procedure concludes that Botox is a protected and efficient remedy for masseter hypertrophy. Nevertheless, the NIDCR signifies Botox injections should not have Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for mandibular issues, and that there’s inadequate proof to conclude Botox relieves signs.

Learn Botox often requested questions.

How one can stretch your masseter muscle

Massaging the masseter muscle will help calm down it. Comply with these steps:

  1. Place your knuckles on each side of your face, simply beneath the cheekbones.
  2. Press inward whereas slowly opening your mouth.
  3. Press till you meet the sting of the mandible.
  4. Repeat 5 instances. 

Contact a dentist in case you grind your enamel, and for:

  • tooth injury
  • delicate enamel
  • misaligned enamel
  • ache in your jaw, face, or ear
  • locking of the jaw

If in case you have issues about an enlarged jaw line, focus on them along with your dentist or a medical skilled.

Often requested questions

Listed here are some often requested questions concerning the masseter muscle.

What does a good masseter muscle really feel like?

Masseter muscle tightness could make it harder to totally open your jaw. You might also have ache as you open it.

How do I calm down my masseter muscle?

You possibly can assist calm down your masseter muscle by massaging it. Merely knead your jaw muscle mass in a gradual round movement for five minutes. Doing this 3 times a day will help cut back facial ache and enhance muscle leisure.

The masseter muscle is concerned in chewing. It stretches from the cheek downward and again as much as the opposite cheek. 

Masseteric hypertrophy is when the muscle is bigger than regular. This may be resulting from enamel grinding or it might be a pure bodily trait. Some persons are self-conscious about an enlarged masseter muscle as a result of it could actually make the face look extra sq..

Therapy choices for masseter muscle circumstances embrace therapeutic massage, Botox, and splinting.

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