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Teeth clenching & grinding

If you've ever suffered with the symptoms teeth clenching or teeth grinding, you'll know that it can be unbearable to live with and can hugely affect your quality of life. 

Chronic teeth grinding or teeth clenching can damage the teeth, cause jaw, facial and neck pain, as well as associated headaches or migraines. In addition teeth grinding and teeth clenching is associated with other symptoms including poor mood, irritability, poor sleep and even depression.

What are teeth clenching & grinding treatments?

In simple terms, chewing is controlled by several pairs of muscles including the:

  • masseter muscles - these are the powerful muscles on the side of the jaw that clamp your jaws together 

  • temporlis muscles - these muscles work in tandem with the masseters to clench your jaw tight. They are found on the sides of your temples.

  • pterygoid muscles (lateral and medial) - these two pairs of muscles do different actions including opening the jaw, backwards, forwards and side to side movement. they live on the inside of the jaw bone and can be felt inside your mouth next to the upper teeth.

 

Dr Jake strongly recommends that patients suffering with teeth grinding or teeth clenching symptoms are first examined by their dentist to specifically investigate for any signs of malocclusion - the alignment of your teeth. Dentists or orthodontists can help with protecting the teeth with splints, plates and longer-term positioning of the teeth if needed. 

 

But what most dentists do not provide is treatment of the muscles causing your painful symptoms. Using the same product used for wrinkle injections, one or more pairs of these muscles can be targeted and relaxed. This provides effective symptom control and can help break the vicious cycle of unconscious and uncontrolled clenching or grinding. This treatment doesn't affect eating, talking, swallowing or any other normal function of the mouth and face.

Key features of teeth clenching & grinding treatments

Consultations

Consultations for teeth grinding and clenching treatments are 45 minutes for new patients. Your history, dental treatments and symptoms will be explored. This is followed by an oro-facial examination and treatment if you are appropriate. 

Protect your teeth

Chronic teeth clenching and grinding causes significant damage to your teeth including worn chewing surfaces, micro-fractures or more severe cracks needing emergency dentistry. Controlling the symptoms of bruxism with treatments can reduce damage to the teeth and jaw joint.

Outstanding satisfaction

Patients with teeth clenching or grinding symptoms often suffer for years without a proper diagnosis or relief. Whilst every patients symptoms vary, feedback from the relief of bruxism can significantly improve your quality of life, chronic pain and sleep.

Controlled symptoms

Injections for teeth clenching and grinding are not a cure. You'll still need long-term dental input but each treatment of the affected chewing muscles can provide 3-6 months relief on average. 

Downtime & aftercare for teeth clenching & grinding treatments

There is very minimal downtime from teeth grinding and teeth clenching treatments. Occasionally patients actually describe immediate relief 

 

Occasionally a small bruise can occur (as they can from any injectable treatment) and this is self limiting. 

Teeth clenching & grinding FAQ's

  • How do wrinkle treatments work?
    Wrinkle treatments are performed using tiny injections. They work by temporarily and reversibly blocking nerve signals to specific areas of the facial muscles, allowing the muscles to relax. As a result, the skin overlying the muscles also relaxes, smoothing out the visible lines. Over a period of on average 4 months, the treatment wears off and wrinkles slowly return.
  • How should I prepare for my wrinkle treatment?
    As for all injectable treatments, please come with no make up, foundation or similar on your skin. This will reduce the risk of an infection. To reduce the risk of bruising: - avoid alcohol for 24 hours prior - stop any fish oil supplements at least 5 days prior - stop any garlic, ginger, gingko biloba or ginseng in high doses - avoid any anti-inflammatory medicines (neurofen, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc) for 5 days before your treatment if possible. Prescription medicines that can make bruising much more common include warfarin or other anti-coagulants. If these are prescribed by your GP, it's not recommended to stop them. You can still have injectables but you should expect bruising to be much more common and obvious.
  • What can't I do after a wrinkle treatment?
    You can go back to your normal daily activities after a treatment except for two simple rules: 1) Don't massage, rub or wash the areas injected until the next day after your treatment. This also includes not doing things like having a massage, facial or similar straight after an anti-wrinkle treatment. (for at least 12 hours afterwards) 2) Avoid sports, exercise or vigorous activity for 12 hours afterwards. These rules help prevent the anti-wrinkle product spreading and affecting other muscles of the face that we don't want to treat. Failure to follow these increases the chance of complications, most importantly eyelid or eyebrow drooping. These are both avoidable and reversible side effects but can take several weeks or even months to settle. Avoiding alcohol after any injectable treatment until the following day also reduces your risk of worsened bruising.
  • What are the potential side effects?
    The most common side effects include: - Mild discomfort during the procedure - very temporary swellings and redness (that disappear within minutes) - bruising (always a risk when a needle is used) Rarer side effects include: - In less than 1% of cases, patients can very rarely experience eyebrow or eyelid heaviness (called a 'ptosis'). This is very rare, temporary and often resolves in three or four weeks on it's own. This might be caused by a failure to follow the after care rules described above. In this scenario, some special eyedrops might be prescribed to you to help lift the heavy eyelid but you'll need to be reviewed in person first.
  • Do anti-wrinkle treatments hurt?
    The injections only take minutes to perform and no special measures are needed. Dr Jake uses the smallest needles available and most patients are pleasantly surprised at how easy the process is.
  • Are there any people who shouldn't have a wrinkle treatment?
    There are just a few but important conditions that are contraindications to wrinkle treatments: - Pregnancy or breastfeeding. (Patients trying for a baby, undergoing IVF or who are unsure if they are pregnant will also be refused treatments) - Rare neurological diseases such as Myasthenia Gravis Those taking the following medicines should also not have these treatments: - Aminoglycoside antibiotics (Gentamycin, Neomycin, Streptomycin, etc) - Penicillamine (used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis) - A known allergy to human albumin A detailed medical history will be taken prior to your treatment but it is your responsibility to declare any medical problems to us in good time.
  • How often should I have treatments?
    If the recommended dose is done on the day of your treatment, the results will last 2-4 months on average. Most people therefore come every 3-4 months to help maintain a consistent appearance.
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