Difference Between Bruxism and TMJ disorders

Bruxism is often confused and misperceived by many as a reflex chewing action but in actual it is a habitual grinding or clenching of teeth which is subconscious. Bruxism is classified as a disorder which is characterized by the involuntary clenching or grinding of teeth, most commonly happen at night but there can also occur at the day time.

On the other hand TMJ disorder differs from bruxism. TMJ refers to a temporomandibular joint that is located on the either side of jaw connecting our jaw to the skull causing jaw movement. The patients suffering from TMJ disorder experience pain and discomfort in the joint area of the jaw and may find it difficult to move their jaws. Both Bruxism and TMJ disorders are considered inter-related disorders.

Bruxism: Causes and Treatment

Bruxism affects almost 8-10% of the total population. It is characterised by teeth grinding and jaw clenching which cause wear and tear of teeth, disorders of jaw or TMJ (limited movement of the jaw) and headaches. Bruxism can occur is young and old alike but most commonly it is observed in people of age 25-44 years of age.

Classifications of Bruxism

Bruxism is divided into two types:
  • Awake bruxism: In this type of bruxism involuntary clenching of teeth and jaw brcing occur as a reaction to particular stimuli.
  • Sleep bruxism: this type of bruxism is characterized involuntary teeth grinding accompanied by rhythmic and sustained contractions of jaw masseter muscle.

Bruxism can cause headaches, earaches, chipped teeth, facial pains and chewed tissues inside the mouth. Chronic teeth grinding can lead to hypertrophy of masseter muscle which is the main muscle used for chewing and moving jaws. This muscle is located at the jaw’s angle. Due to teeth grinding, this muscle become stronger similarly as lifting of the weights make biceps stronger. As the masseter muscle becomes stronger, it causes more damage to the teeth due to clenching. Headaches and facial pains also get worse with the passage of time.

Causes of Bruxism

Though there are no definite agreed upon causes of Bruxism but it may trigger due to regular stress or tension in some people. Some other people may have a habit of teeth clenching but they never feel any kind of symptoms. There is a complicated combination of factors which can cause bruxism. These include:

  • The extent of stress you are experiencing
  • For how long and tightly you clench or grind teeth
  • Whether you have misaligned teeth
  • Your capability to relax in stressful situation
  • Type of diet you are taking
  • Your sleeping habits

For each person suffering from bruxism, the cause or combination of causes can be different.

Botox for Bruxism Treatment

Although Botox has been well-known for the cosmetic treatments, Botox is also known for treating numerous medical indication including Bruxism/TMJ disorders as it effectively relieves pain. Botox has become an important treatment for TMJ /Bruxism to relieve symptoms.

CosmeDocs has been successfully making use of Botox for treating Bruxism for many years with minimal risk of complications. Botox for bruxism treatment gives relief to the patients from jaw ache, soreness in the jaws, jaw tension and headaches. Along with relieving the pain, Botox also produce dramatic changes in the facial appearance in patients with long standing bruxism which has caused the masseter muscle to enlarge. Due to bruxism, often jawline become wider giving squarer appearance to the lower face. Bruxism treatment with Botox also softens the jawline giving it a softer and more aesthetically pleasing appearance often preferred by females as well as some male patients.

Botox treatment for bruxism involves injecting small quantities of botox in both sides of the jawline which shrinks the masseter muscles in jaws. With the passage of time, masseter muscle weakens and decreases in size (atrophy) giving a softer and more appealing appearance of the face along with decreasing teeth grinding and clenching.

It is important to note that bruxism treatment with botox does not help in breaking the habit of teeth grinding though it has been reported by many patients that they grind less after the treatment.

Botox Treatment Procedure for Bruxism

Botox treatment for Bruxism at CosmeDocs is relatively less painful. Usually one to two injections of Botox are injected on each side of the jaw. The results of Bruxism treatment with botox starts to surface within few days after receiving the injections. They last for almost 3-6 months, depending on initial muscle size. Initially, patients are recommended to return for the treatment within shorter time periods for reassessing the results and giving a maintenance dose, if required. With repeated treatments, the dose intervals increase. Based on your individual requirements, you doctor will tailor an individualized treatment plan.

We also highly recommend that you should consult with your dentist for wearing appropriate night guards and devices which may help you in reducing the wear and tear of teeth caused by teeth grinding. There are certain simple devices available which may help you in reducing teeth grinding. For those patients who require advanced intervention, please book an appointment with us for further consultation.

For more information on wide jaw reduction for slimmer jawline, visit our page about Jaw Reduction for masseter hypertrophy.

Treatment for Jaw tension / TMJ treatment with Botox

The TMJ or Temporal Mandibular Joint is a kind of sliding hinge that connects your jaw bone with skull. It is located on either side of the head and is used for mouth actions like talking, chewing, eating and other related activities. If there is any displacement in the joint or it is overworked due to excessive teeth grinding (bruxism), a patient may suffer from TMJ disorder. This jaw disorder can cause headaches, severe pain in the jaw joint as well as in the masseter muscle controlling jaw movements.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

The precise causes of TMJ disorder are often difficult to determine however there are combination of causes which may be causing pain and discomfort. They may include medical conditions like arthritis, injury to the jaw and bruxism. There are some people who even develop habit of clenching teeth but do not develop TMJ disorders.

TMJ disorders are most commonly observed in women of ages 20 -40 years but it is not definite as it can occur at any age.

Botox for TMJ disorder treatment

Botox has become a popular non-surgical treatment for TMJ disorders due to its effectiveness and simplicity of procedure. Botox basically works on the master muscle in jaw and helps in reducing the jaw tension and TMJ which is a cause of discomfort. The Botox injections also help in reducing headaches which are caused due to excessive teeth grinding. If there is severe stress or tension, Botox can help in minimizing lock jaw.

How CosmeDocs treat TMJ with Botox?

CosmeDocs has been using the Botox treatment for treating TMJ disorders quite successfully to relieve excessive pain and discomfort in the jaw. Botox relaxes the masseter muscle involved in the powerful and frequently occurring unconscious movements of the jaw causing severe headaches and pain.

The botox treatment for TMJ disorder is generally quick, easy, simple and effective. As it is a non-surgical procedure, it is conducted in our clinic as it has no downtime. Botox injections are injected in both sides of the jaw into masseter muscles. Botox induces atrophy in masseter muscle causing it to relax and reduce in size over the time. In majority of the patients, improvement in conditions become noticeable from 2 weeks after receiving their first treatment with the muscle being relaxed however reduction in size of the muscle & jawline takes a few months to notice visible changes

Side Effects

Though botox provides substantial relief to the patients suffering from Bruxism/TMJ disorders but they can experience some minor and temporary side effects like mild swelling and bruising at the injection sites. In some rare cases, the temporary paralysis of the muscle in the treated area can also occur but it normally eliminates in few weeks. Overall, Botox for TMJ/Bruxism treatment is highly effective in relieving jaw tension, convenient and allow patients to perform normal routine activities like chewing, eating, talking etc.

Downtime

There is no downtime associated with the TMJ/Bruxism treatment with Botox injections. Most of the patients can resume with their daily routine activities instantly after the treatment.

Price

The treatment at CosmeDocs cost £250 / treatment for women and £300 / treatment for men. The difference in prices for men and women is because of the fact that men have stronger masseter muscle as compared to women and may require stronger doses of Botox to relax its function and release tension. For further information, you can book a free initial consultation with our doctor or can contact us directly.

bruxism before and after

bruxism before and after photos

Is bruxism harmful for me?

Though occasional teeth grinding does not cause any potential harm but chronic teeth grinding can lead to jaw fracture, wear and tear, loosening or even loss of teeth and may result in changing the appearance of face.

Am I a best candidate for TMJ/Bruxism treatment with Botox?

The bruxism treatment with Botox is suitable for you if you experience excessive teeth grinding in day as well as at night.

How Botox helps to lessen teeth grinding?

As teeth grinding is usually caused by the clenching of the masseter jaw muscle, Botox works by reducing the capability of the muscle to clench tightly by relaxing it and stopping its function. This help to reduce the rate of teeth grinding relieving pain in the jaw while restoring the normal function of jaw and teeth.

How many sessions of Botox treatment will I need to treat Bruxism/TMJ disorder?

The number of treatment sessions and injections you need for bruxism/TMJ treatment depends largely on the severity of your teeth grinding or jaw clenching problem. Your doctor will tailor an individualized treatment plan during initial consultation session addressing your individual concerns.

How long the Botox Bruxism/TMJ treatment takes?

The Bruxism/TMJ treatment with Botox is quick, safe and effective. It almost take 10-20 minutes to complete and the results of the treatment starts to become evident in two to three days and lasts for almost 4-6 months.