Injectable Treatments for Bruxism, TMJ, Teeth Grinding & Jaw Clenching

Injectable Treatments for Bruxism, TMJ, Teeth Grinding & Jaw Clenching at a Glance

Best Results 1-2
Duration of Results 3-4 months
Treatment Recovery 1 -2 days
Risks & Complications Low
Anaesthetic Ice/None
Procedure Time 20 - 30 mins
Skin Specialist Doctor
Back To Work Same day

Frequently Asked Questions

Bruxism treatments are available in Johannesburg at FourwaysParkhurstMorningside, BedfordviewWest Rand, Waterfall and Illovo as well as in Pretoria at Brooklyn and Irene and in the Western Cape at Cape QuarterClaremontConstantiaStellenboschWillowbridgePaarl, and in KwaZulu-Natal at BallitoDurban & Umhlanga.

Bruxism is characterised by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw leading to morning migraines, headaches, jaw and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain. No exact figures on the frequency of bruxism are available as over 80% of all bruxers may be unaware of the habit.

Diagnosis is usually made when a dental surgeon examines the teeth. For these reasons, estimates of the prevalence of bruxism range between 5% - 20%.

Bruxism, also known as jaw clenching, teeth clenching or the "gnashing of teeth" is an oral habit that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives, usually during stressful times. In most people, bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem and only causes minor discomfort.

Bruxism can occur both during the day or night, but it is during sleep that the majority of health issues can occur, this includes during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders which accompanies Sleep Apnea. Some bruxism activity is rhythmic (like chewing), and some is sustained such as clenching. Researchers classify bruxism as "a habitual behaviour", and also a sleep disorder.

Most bruxers are not aware of their bruxism, and only 5% go on to develop symptoms, such as jaw pain, migraine and headaches, which will require treatment. In many cases, a sleeping partner or parent will notice the bruxism before the person experiencing the problem.

The symptoms commonly accompany Sleep Apnea or Upper Respiratory Airway Syndrome, which if left untreated, can lead to a multitude of other health concerns. If one becomes aware that they are regularly clenching their jaw during sleep, it is highly advisable further to investigate this by means of an at-home sleep study.

Undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorders can lead to problems such as insomnia, weight gain, short term memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, reflux, IBS, erectile dysfunction, glaucoma, CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and even SCD (sudden cardiac death). 

A novel treatment for this condition is to weaken the masseter muscles of the jaw with strategically placed injections. These weaken the muscle enough to reduce the effects of grinding and clenching, but not enough to prevent proper use of the muscle. The procedure involves about five or six relatively painless injections, and patients start feeling the effects the following day with migraines usually dissipating by the end of the first week. Injections need to done every six months to maintain the results, but the habit is usually broken after the second round of treatment.

The symptoms that may be improved by the treatment include:

  • Migraines triggered by clenching
  • Grinding and clenching
  • Morning jaw soreness
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain
  • Muscle tension throughout the day
  • Neck pain and stiffness triggered by clenching
Sharon Izak Elaine Chat staff ) WhatsApp