An introduction to Bruxism treatments by Dr Yasmin Albeyatti.
What is bruxism and do I have it?
Many people, both men and women suffer from bruxism. This is a very common condition where the grinding muscles in our mouth are over-worked and become sore and tender. It can lead to pain when eating, headaches and constant discomfort. Those who have suffered from bruxism for many years will notice that their jaw muscles have grown in size and made their face look wide. This can also be a negative feature along with the pain and discomfort experienced.
What happens if I don't treat it?
Lack of treatment for bruxism or TMJ dysfunction syndrome can lead to the following:
- Continuous pain in jaw muscles. Waking up and going to bed with severe pain in the face and head.
- Can trigger further tension and pain in associated muscles such as the back of the neck and even shoulders when very severe.
- Overly strong, and excessively large jaw muscles which can change one’s natural face shape or give a more masculine looking jawline.
- Excessive teeth grinding and potential damage to natural teeth or fillings/restorations.
What is botox/ muscles-relaxant for bruxism?
The muscles-relaxant injections have the key active ingredient called botulinum toxin (botox). It is a prescription-only medication that we source only from UK pharmacies. Botox can be used to reduce the activity of specific muscles in the mouth and jaw that cause pain and discomfort.
How does it work?
A moderate dose of Botox is injected into the masseter/ jaw muscle which is responsible for excessive grinding and clenching. The Botox allows the muscles to relax and not contract so strongly when chewing. This can give a huge relief to the patient as they can finally chew and move their mouth without pain and discomfort.
As the Botox allows the jaw muscles to relax, with time, these muscles can reduce back to their normal size and soften the shape of the lower ⅓ face.
It is also hugely beneficial for protecting teeth from excessive grinding which can cause them to break and chip. This treatment can also break the cycle of repetitive tension headaches in many people.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a Bruxism treatment take?
The bruxism procedure takes approximately 5-15 minutes to complete the 2-3 small injections in the appropriate places. Your appointment will usually be booked for 30-45 minutes to make sure there is plenty of time to discuss your medical history, aftercare instructions and to ask as many questions as you need.
Does a Bruxism treatment hurt?
The treatment is relatively painless to a minimal level of discomfort. The injections are so small and shallow, they usually don’t cause more than a slight sting. The area may feel tender or slightly sore afterwards, but this usually fades quickly. Some people may also experience mild bruising at the injection site, but this is usually temporary.
How quickly can I see the effects of a Brusxism treatment?
It takes 4-10 days for the effects to show. Most people start to notice an improvement within a week and this continues as treatment is maintained on a regular 3-monthly basis or at the advice of Dr Yasmin.
How long does a Bruxism treatment last for?
The treatment can last between 3- 5 months. It is highly recommended that the treatment is done regularly to prevent the recurrence of pain and achieve the maximum results.
Is a review appointment included in the price?
All treatments include a 2-week review appointment to check the progress of your treatment and make sure you are happy with the results. Before and after photos are usually taken to see the progress made.
What happens if I need a top-up?
At the 2-week review appointment, a top-up dose can be given where appropriate to make sure you get the best results from the treatment.
What are the most common side effects of Bruxism treatment?
Some people experience small spots of bruising where the medicine has been injected. The small bruising can usually be easily covered up by make-up and usually disappears within 1 – 2 weeks.