Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth and can be a physical expression of stress; for example, susceptible people may tend to grind their teeth when they are angry, concentrating hard on a particular task or feeling anxious.

Bruxism is common for men but usually mild however, in severe cases, it can cause pain in the jaw or generalized headache, as well as dental problems. Eventually it can fracture teeth or wear them down. Hypertrophy of the masseter muscle can also occur, altering the facial appearance. Prevention and alleviation of pain that can accompany Bruxism is provided in the form of botulinum toxin injections.

What is involved in the procedure?
Botulinum toxin is injected directly into the masseter muscle (the large muscle that moves the jaw). The muscle is weakened enough to stop involuntary grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. This significantly relaxes the muscle and reduces the wear and tear on the teeth due to grinding. Voluntary movements, such as chewing and facial expressions, are not effected at all. The procedure takes approximately 5 minutes and there is no down time following treatment.

How often is treatment required?
Depending on the individual, effects may last up to twelve months, however we like to review treatments at three and six months to ensure the muscles aren’t redeveloping. Treatment is combined with lifestyle modifications in an effort eventually wean patients off injections all-together.

Are there any side effects?
Side effects are rare and can include temporary bruising, swelling, redness and mild weakness of the jaw.

Bruxism treatment is not suitable for:
During your consultation the doctor will review your medical history and make a decision on whether you are suitable for this procedure.

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