Living with Teeth Grinding: With the Help of Botox

Both a Pain Reliever and a Cosmetic Treat

Teeth clenching or grinding affects most people in a way that hampers oral health and even one’s general well-being. Among its many detrimental effects – aside from neck pain, stiffness, limited opening, among others – is pain at the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. It is that juncture that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw. Constant teeth grinding creates fatigue and oftentimes pain in the jaw and jaw muscles. The uncontrolled habit can also speed up aging in the face as the teeth shortens and the lower third of the face descends. 

Some remedies are available, such as using a mouth guard, massages, pain killers, a lifestyle change.  Relief from pain and discomfort varies from patient to patient, and yet the effects of grinding can only be managed thus far. A new option, though, comes along. Botox. 

Botox can help relax painful muscles that result from teeth grinding. Officially, Botox is approved to relax the muscles in the face to prevent wrinkles from forming. In cases of teeth grinding, it relaxes the masseter muscle and prevents it from overworking. Botox helps to lessen the appearance of this muscle – so in addition to alleviating the clenching, it also slims the jawline. 

Since injecting Botox in the masseter muscle is an off-label indication, it is important to make sure that the one who administers the procedure is a professional well-versed in facial anatomy. Specialists like a cosmetic dermatologist or a preferred ENT physician, neurosurgeon or dentist would know. In close proximity to the masseter is the smile muscle, which is a little more superficial, and if that were to be injected or if Botox spreads to it, one may not be able to smile properly in 3 to 4 months.  

Getting Botox for teeth grinding may lead to potential loss of facial volume. As Botox relaxes the muscles and can even shrink an overdeveloped muscle, you may experience loose skin that could result in needing supplemental filler, which can add to the cost. However, this treatment, even for its aesthetic value, as many people may ask or seek this treatment just for the slimmer jaw, is not indicated for patients with underdeveloped masseter muscles. If a candidate doesn’t have an enlarged muscle she could actually lose some of the definition of her jawline. The good thing is that, the Botox effect wanes after 3 or 4 months after which facial muscles return to its previous state and cared for by massages.


Relief for Jaw Pain in Tacoma

Want to understand more about how Botox is a pain reliever for jaw pain due to incessant teeth clenching? Or you might simply want a slimmer jawline? Ask us at Botixue in Tacoma.