Our Port Macquarie clinic gets a lot of enquiries about treating jaw clenching, or “bruxism”.
Bruxism occurs when you grind, gnash or clench your teeth, and it can happen either while you’re awake or when you’re asleep. A few things can cause bruxism, with the main one being stress. However, lifestyle, alcohol, caffeine as well as some medical conditions such as ADHD, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease and sleep disorders can also be underlying causes. Whatever the cause, bruxism can be frustrating for sufferers as it can result in aches and pain, teeth sensitivity, thinning of teeth enamel, jaw pain and headaches. There are a few suggested treatments that may help relieve jaw clenching, such as osteopathy, massage, myofascial release or mouthguards. If you’ve tried all of these options to no avail, you may like to consider anti-wrinkle injections.
But what do anti-wrinkle injections have to do with jaw clenching?
Anti-wrinkle injections use Botulinum toxin (sometimes referred to as Botox, although there are many brands), which basically blocks the nerve from firing the muscle- reducing the appearance of fine lines in facial muscles that do a lot of moving, such as the forehead. However, the same injections can be used in the Masseter, which is the large, strong muscle that is responsible for chewing. Injecting Botulinum Toxin into the Masseter will reduce any unconscious contracting of that muscle, which is why it is such an effective treatment for jaw clenching and Bruxism. For most people, there is little to no downtime, and the results can be seen in 7 to 10 days.
Many people who have been suffering from Bruxism or jaw clenching for an extended period of time also find that their Masseter has become quite strong and developed, creating an overly square jaw appearance. There is also an added cosmetic benefit of using Botulinum Toxin as a treatment. Like any muscle, as it is activated less, it reduces in size, leading to a slimmer lower face appearance.
We generally recommend one treatment every six months to begin and then reduce this down to one treatment every twelve months. So if you’ve been searching for a way to relieve your jaw clenching, we may just have the solution. Port Medical Aesthetics can treat jaw clenching and Bruxism in our Port Macquarie or Kempsey Clinic. Feel free to get in touch with our friendly staff to discuss your options today.