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Bruxism

How to stop clenching or grinding of my teeth?

Bruxism ( = grinding teeth or clenching of the jaw ) affects around 8-10% of the population. It commonly presents with grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw resulting in painful tooth fractures after some time. It can also present as persistent tenderness of the cheek muscles, and headaches. Clenching and grinding can occur when the person is awake or asleep, Stress and anxiety are also known to exacerbate teeth grinding during sleep.

Over time chronic grinding results in a hypertrophied jaw muscle which is the Masseter muscle. Much like lifting weights will increase the bulk of muscles, Constantly clenching or grinding will result in a larger and stronger muscle, resulting in greater damage to your teeth and jaw joints.

What is botulinum toxin and how does it work?

This product is a protein from bacteria and has been available since 1989. It is commonly known as Botox, which is used to temporarily eliminate frown lines. The toxin blocks nerve transmission resulting in muscle weakness and over time atrophy or shrinkage of the main muscle responsible for grinding (Masseter muscle). This treatment may break the habit of teeth grinding.

Who Can Have Treatment?

Any adult can have injections unless you are planning to become pregnant, currently pregnant or breastfeeding, have a disorder affecting your nerves and muscles or taking the following antibiotics; gentamycin, streptomycin, tobramycin, neomycin, kanamycin.

Prior to any treatment, you will require an assessment by our experienced doctors to determine if this is the right treatment for you.

The procedure involves several tiny injections directly into the Masseter muscles. The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. There is minimal discomfort during the procedure. It is recommended patients continue to wear their night guards unless otherwise advised by their dentists.

After The Injection

You should notice an improvement in your grinding within 2-3 weeks. The effects can last up to 4 months. It is important to realise, results vary from patient to patient. It is also important to note that most patients are not symmetrical and may notice greater benefit on one side.

How Often Are The Injections Given?

Most patients have these injections every 4 months initially. With continued injections, the benefits generally last longer and the dose will either be decreased or the time between injections increased.

How Much Does Each Treatment Cost?

The costs will vary depending on the amount used and the severity of grinding. An estimate of cost will be discussed with you at your initial consult.

Side-Effects Are Uncommon And Include

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Redness or bruising at the injection site- 1-2 days
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth temporarily
  • Change in smile temporary
  • Allergic reactions rarely
  • No reaction very rare

Post treatment

Exercise the injected muscle for 1 hour but do not massage the injected site for at least 4 hours to avoid spread.


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  • Rany Lem

    Registered Nurse

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