Have you noticed how much you grind and gnash your teeth when you are under stress? Have anyone told you that you also clench your teeth while sleeping? We all do the same and this is pretty normal. Yet frequent clenching and grinding of teeth, termed as Bruxism in medicine, can be a problem. The pressure you put on your jaw muscles during clenching makes them weak and disturbs their normal structure. It can also wear down your teeth and can even cause fracture or loosening of teeth. Not just this, it can also trigger headaches, hearing loss, insomnia and social relationship difficulties as your sleeping partner can’t sleep with clutch-clitch noise your teeth produce.
Botox treatment of Bruxism works by relaxing muscles, it has proven to be very effective option which stops your jaw muscles from clenching and gnashing teeth. On top of it, the treatment is not very risky and produces quick results that stay for months. However the results are temporary and you will need periodic treatments.
Not many side effects have been reported by patients of Bruxism receiving Botox but some have complained about the difficulty in doing some mouth activities after treatment. This is particularly caused if your doctor is unaware of the amount of Botox needed to be injected. We at Cosmedocs take special care that the quantity of Botox injected in your muscles is low enough to treat the problem without completely paralyzing them and stopping them from doing normal activities like eating and smiling.
Learn a Patient’s story of Botox treatment of Bruxism
Meet Christopher Joy, a 39 years old friendly guy that came to our clinic just few weeks back in search of a treatment for his severe bruxism problem. Christopher told us that he can’t just stop clenching his teeth particularly during sleep. Due to this everyday gritting and grating he has been bearing painful episodes of headache and pinching pain in jaws, neck, and entire face for past 6 years. Night guards aren’t helping much and he had to start his day with severe pain in morning.
Because of this bruxism problem, eating has become a problem for Christopher: it hurts when he opens mouth for eating and when he chews food. The right side of his jaw has started making popping and clicking noises. He has also damaged his front teeth through gritting them so hard. His teeth are crooked and his jaw a bit asymmetrical. We have recommended Botox to experience with the world so here’s we’ll update you every week what Christopher is going through in his own words.
Christopher came to the clinic in the morning for Botox injections. Dr. Haq talked to him about his health and whether he is mentally prepared for the treatment. Once satisfied with his mental and physical health they went to the treatment area. Dr. Haq applied local anesthesia on the jaw muscles and waited for some minutes. Then he injected Botox in the targeted area. The whole treatment took not more than 15 minutes and Christopher was ready to leave the clinic with the promise that he’ll keep writing to the doctor about his condition.
Christopher has kept his promise. We just got this email from him:
In the first week since my treatment I have not suffered any significant discomfort. Within the first 2 to 3 days the swelling to my face and jaw muscles had already started to recede, and at the end of week 1, friends, who are unaware I have had the Botox injections, are already commenting on how I seem to have lost weight. However when I do clench my jaw, the definition does seem to be even more extreme than before the treatment. But I think this is just where the swelling in my face has reduced and exposed the underlying muscle, which is huge!
The morning headaches I generally suffer from have also been greatly reduced, although I do still have some jaw ache in the mornings but I think this is just where I am still clenching at night and the weakened muscles are suffering for their efforts. I have also attached some photos from week 1.
Two weeks have now passed after Christopher’s first treatment and his jaw muscles are gradually improving. Today he wrote to us
In week 2 things have progressed along similar lines as in week 1. The swelling caused from my clenching has continued to recede as has the size of the muscles themselves. I do still have extreme muscle definition when I clench. But as I said before I believe this is down to the fact that the swelling, which was shielding the muscle before treatment, has been so greatly reduced. I am still experiencing some jaw ache in the morning and also whilst chewing food but again I think this is where the muscles have been weakened and are therefore struggling to perform as before. My morning headaches are still nowhere near as severe as they have been previously. I have again attached some photos from week 2.
Half of the month has passed and there is no complaint from Christopher about any side effect. He seems to be enjoying the change. Here’s what he wrote today
At the end of week 3 the swelling has reduced further and my face really appears to be returning to its original shape as of prior to the Bruxism. When I clench, even though the muscles do still stick out, the right hand side which has always been larger than the left, now seems to be more balanced and even. Even so it is clear that I will still require more treatment in order to both reduce the power of the muscles and to achieve my natural face shape. I still have some face aches in the morning and when chewing but I am confident this will become less problematic as my treatment continues. I have attached some more pics from week 3, which I believe clearly show how the swelling has gone down when compared to week 1.
Week 4: 2nd Treatment
As he wrote in this email last week, Christopher was in need of another dose of Botox to improve his facial appearance. So he took appointment for this week and was here on the decided time. As usual, Dr. Haq checked his health and mental preparation for the treatment and, then, applied [number of injections] injections on his jaw muscles. This time, treatment took around [approx. time] minutes and Dr. Haq checked he was fine before bidding him goodbye.
It’s the first week after Christopher’s second treatment and we are anxious to learn whether this second dose worked well for him or not. Christopher email came just before the end of the week, a bit late than usual, but it comes with some really good news. Let’s share his email:
I looked back at the pictures taken from just after my first treatment the other day and the difference is unbelievable. Compared to now the muscles in my jaw then looked fake, like special effects. The power the muscles can now generate is negligible in comparison to before treatment began.
My headaches are gone and my jaw ache is also gone, even when I’m chewing. Even though in the pictures the jaw muscles still look large when I clench, the sharp points on either side have softened and smoothed and appear far more natural. I am more than happy with how things are progressing and am looking forward to my next appointment.