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A Florida woman has gone viral after sharing her disappointing experience using Botox to treat her temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), a painful jaw condition that can cause the jaw to lock or click.
On Tuesday, Montana Morris uploaded a video to TikTok to explain how receiving injectables in the masseter muscle of her jaw left her with a "botched" smile. In less than 48 hours, Morris's video received more than 4.4 million views with TikTok users curious as to how such a common procedure could go awry.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Morris explained that after years of struggling with TMJD and treating it with other methods, her doctor recommended that she give Botox a try.
"About two years ago, I started developing TMJ. It was pretty mild at the beginning. Then all of the sudden, there would be mornings where I would wake up to my jaw completely locked," she explained. "I would just have entire days where it would stay locked, and then it actually locked for two weeks straight which is when I decided to look into getting Botox."
Botox is often used as a treatment for TMJ by preventing the masseter muscle from overworking which can help to alleviate jaw pain.
"My doctor had prescribed me muscle relaxers before," Morris added. "But that didn’t help, so she recommended Botox as an option before major jaw surgery. The injector told me I would have final results within a week or two, but my face was already freezing within four days — so I knew it was going to be bad."
Morris revealed that at the time the treatment was administered to her at a med spa, Dysport, a brand of injectable similar to Botox, was on sale.
"They were running a discount on Dysport, which is just a different brand than Botox, but the unit measurements are different, so I decided to go with that," she said. "They told me that 1 unit of Botox was equivalent to 3 units of Dysport. I had only agreed to 15 units of Botox in each masseter muscle, but the injector didn’t draw the proper amount when converting the numbers for Dysport."
After a few weeks, she began to see the negative effects that the treatment was having on her face.
"The width of my mouth started shortening. I could see less and less of my teeth when I would smile — that’s the first thing I noticed," she explained. "Then my dimples almost completely went away. My TMJ is better — my jaw did unlock soon after treatment and locks up a lot less now, but I surprisingly have more pain than before. From the paralysis, I’ve had quite a bit of muscle atrophy, so chewing certain things is more difficult than before."
After returning to the clinic to seek help from the original injector, she was directed to a different staff member who delivered the news that Morris not only received too much Dysport, but she was injected in the wrong areas of her face.
"The med spa, unfortunately, didn’t have the best attitude at first and tried to act like this just happens sometimes and 'a lot people don’t mind it,' but I ended up demanding a full refund and they did follow through with that," she said.
While Morris's story was an unfortunate mishap, she discovered that it happens far more often than one would guess.
"I’ve learned that this happens quite often to people but hardly anyone speaks on it, most likely because it is an embarrassing thing to go through," she told Morris said. "I can proudly say that I’ve been a very confident person my entire life, but losing my smile has affected my personality more than I ever could have imagined."
Despite the disappointment, Morris is choosing to look on the bright side and knows that eventually, the injectables will wear off.
"The good thing is that this is only temporary," she pointed out. "Eventually, my smile will be back to normal! So far, I’ve had some really sincere thank-you messages for spreading awareness of what could possibly happen, which makes me feel okay knowing so many people have now seen my face like this."