Grinding | Clenching

Cosmetic, Dental & Hygiene

Improve | Brighten | Maintain | Smile


Grinding, Clenching

Cosmetic, Dental & Hygiene

Improve | Brighten | Maintain | Smile

Pain relief & facial slimming

Grinding options | At a glance

Worn every night
Active full time
6 visits over time

Top Questions

TMJ disorder overview
What causes jaw pain?
What are the benefits of muscle relaxant injections for grinding?
How do muscle relaxants work?
What is an occlusal splint?
How do I decide what grinding treatment is best for me?

TMJ disorder overview

TMJ Disorder or TMD is caused by the improper function of the temporomandibular joint.

The jaw joint is a ball and socket joint, with a ligament disc between the two parts of the joint. When the joint is not working properly, the disc may be swollen in some areas, and thinned out in others. This leads to non-smooth movement of the joint. Often this is heard as clicking. Long-term swelling can lead to improper, limited or painful movement of the jaw.

Assessment usually involves a full mouth X-ray to visualise the joint, measuring and recording the movement of the jaw, and other tests.

Grinding and jaw pain is often caused by many factors, and needs to be addressed as a team approach, usually involving our local physiotherapist.

TMJ disorder fixed balwyn dentist
tmj pain dental
occlusal splint

What causes jaw pain?

When we clench or grind, the jaw joint itself is compressed, squashing all the soft tissues. This can lead to:
+ Tooth sensitivity, and damaged and worn teeth
+ Headaches and Migraines
+ Aching or stiffness in the jaw
+ Clicking or popping of your jaw
Once we have assessed your teeth and associated structures, we can treat you with a bite splint, and sometimes this is in conjunction with muscle relaxing injectables.

What is an occlusal splint?

Bite Splints

A bite splint is a hard, thin plate that fits over the upper teeth. It provides a smooth surface that is comfortable to bite on, so that the jaw joint is not under pressure from the tooth position. The joint and disc within it can settle down, relieving swelling, and allowing for normal movement to return. It is usually worn every night to protect the joints and muscles from night-time grinding.

How do muscle relaxant injections work for TMJ?

Muscle-relaxing injectables have traditionally been used for many medical applications over the years, and are a highly effective and safe way to treat TMJ disorder. By blocking some of the muscle contraction that causes the grinding, the joint and associated muscles are held in a more relaxed position, allowing the swelling within the joint to subside. This will also lead to less tooth wear, slimming of the face through muscle activity decrease, and a reduction in pain.
Muscle relaxants usually last approximately 4 months and offer significant improvement when it comes to the comfort of your jaw. Most people find that this length of time makes a big difference to the way they feel every day and their quality of life.

tmj pain dental
occlusal splint

How does face slimming work?

Quite simply, when you clench or grind your teeth, you are overusing your strong biting muscles. They can become very thick and large, just like a body builder would experience from doing repeated exercise on one muscle group.

So when we use muscle relaxant injections, we are reducing the overall capacity of the targeted muscle. This means that your muscles will rest and reduce in size.

What is the procedure for muscle relaxant injections?

The first step is coming in for a consultation to assess your particular concerns and face shape. The options for treatment, including a splint and physiotherapy will be discussed with you.

For patients that choose the muscle relaxant option, we will take photos of you and then inject the targeted muscles precisely. Over the next three weeks, you will notice weakening and then slimming of the face muscles. You will also notice an almost complete reduction in pain.

What are the benefits of muscle relaxant injections for grinding?

Face slimming

Aside from pain that can occur with grinding, when a muscle is over-worked, it will naturally become more bulky as the muscle gets stronger. By using muscle relaxant injections, patients often experience face slimming as a result of this treatment.

For our female patients, this can make the face appear square or masculine in shape. Muscle relaxant injections will assist in slenderising the face as the muscles can no longer work as hard.

Reduce pain

Muscle relaxants do exactly as their name suggests; Relax the muscles. This means that your muscles may try and activate to achieve a hard clench or try and grind the teeth, but this is simply no longer possible. Reduced muscle activity means less tooth pressure and less jaw joint pressure, and this results in reduced pain and great relief.

This is great news for your teeth and jaw joint. The pressure is released and often the reflex is broken, so that the 'habit' reduces and can stop indefinitely.

No bite splint

Not every one loves wearing a plate. It may be that you cannot tolerate a plate, or you simply cannot breathe as well. Although technically the splint should assist your breathing, a bite plate can be a barrier for you mentally.

Bite plates, also called an occlusal splint, work well. But only if you wear them. If you know that you will not be a splint wearer, muscle relaxant injections might be the best option for you.

Day and Night

Grinding and clenching can occur during the day and at night. Wearing a bite splint at night is perfectly acceptable at night time, however a day-wear is often just not possible. Having meetings or speaking engagements during the day, when stress is high and clenching is likely, it can be impractical to wear a splint during working hours.

Muscle relaxant injections works day and night.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of muscle relaxant injections for tooth grinding?

Aside from the obvious benefit of the muscles being more relaxed, many people will experience a reduction in tightness and sore spots on the face.
Sometimes you may also experience less headaches too.

I have heard of face slimming with muscle relaxant injections. Is this true?

Yes. When a muscle is over-worked, it will naturally become more bulky as the muscle gets stronger. By using muscle relaxant injections, patients often experience face slimming as a result of this treatment.

What is the cost of muscle relaxant injections for teeth grinding?

The cost varies widely. There are two muscles that we might target and the dose we use will be fully customised to you and your needs. Not every patient requires both muscles to be treated, and some people need more muscle relaxant than others. The usual starting dose is around $500.

Are there any downsides to muscle relaxants for TMJ?

Not many. There may be a need to retreat you every 6 months. Additionally the muscle relaxant does not work straight away. It takes around 3 weeks to work on the muscles. Finally most people report that they feel like it takes more effort to chew. However this means that the pharmaceutical is working.

It is important to remember that the clients shown in the pictures above all have their own individual features and concerns, which may be different to yours. It is always important to seek a second opinion from a suitably qualified person. We work with each person to identify the best treatments for you so that we can achieve a result that you are happy with and looks good for you. Our aim is to naturally enhance you, whilst making you look like the best version of yourself.