Also known as ‘bruxism’, teeth grinding and jaw clenching is a common condition.
It can happen at night or during the day, and you may not even be aware that you’re doing it.
Bruxism can cause headaches, and ear and facial pain. It can also result in worn down or broken teeth, and difficulties with your jaw (temporomandibular disorder). If you’re grinding your teeth at night, it can disrupt your sleep.
Clenching your teeth can lead to your masseter muscle becoming enlarged. This is the muscle that runs through the rear part of your cheeks – from the temporal bone to the lower jaw. When the muscle is overworked it becomes larger, which will make your jaw look squarer.
Researchers still don’t know for sure what causes bruxism – but they think that genetics, body structure and emotional factors may all play a part.
Treatments for the effects of teeth grinding
Dr Gribbin will start with an in-depth consultation where she will invest time in finding out more about you, your life and your medical history. It’s vital to find out about any habits that may be causing the bruxism.
It’s important that you also receive treatment from a dentist, who can help treat the teeth grinding and resulting problems.
If you’re unhappy with the squarer appearance of your jaw, Dr Gribbin can provide muscle relaxing injections with botulinum toxin (Botox) into your masseter or temporal muscles. This can help reduce the activity of these muscles and reduce jaw squareness.