Masseter Injection Therapy

Masseter Injection Therapy
Ways we can stop the pain cycle
If you tend to grind your teeth, you could have a condition people in the dental profession call bruxism. This involuntary behavior can be quite an annoyance for you, and it may even be causing jaw pain, headaches, the wearing away of tooth enamel, gum sensitivity, or chipped teeth. If you’ve already tried conventional approaches to changing this behavior and have been disappointed in the results, you may be surprised to learn that muscle relaxant injections into the masseter muscle has proven effective as a treatment for grinding teeth.
Really? Cosmetic injections for jaw clenching?

Most people are familiar with cosemtic injectables to get rid of wrinkles or plump up lips. But recent studies published in Neurology and Pain Research and Management have shown that the muscle-relaxing properties in cosemtic injectables can help to temporarily stop jaw clenching and teeth grinding. At least for some time.

According to a study published in Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, evidence has shown that cosemtic injectables could help treat various non-cosmetic conditions in addition to bruxism, too. The active ingredient in cosemtic injectables paralyzes muscles temporarily, making it equally useful in treating other conditions in the head and face (like facial dystonia). 

How does masseter injection therapy work​?

A small amount of the musel relaxant is injected into the muscles responsible for moving your jaw – most likely the masseter muscle, which is responsible for chewing. It may also be injected into the frontalis and temporalis muscles according to your specific needs. The musel relaxant can help to reduce clenching and any accompanying head tension and related aches. Masseter injection therapy usually begins working 1 to 3 days after injection (but can take up to two weeks), and the effects vary, but it could last 3 to 6 months.

Are there any side effects for masseter injection therapy ​for bruxism?

According to healthline.com, masseter injection therapy is relatively safe when injected by an experienced doctor. There are, however, a few possible short-term side effects with the active ingredient, including, but not limited to:

  • headache
  • respiratory infection
  • flu-like illness
  • nausea
  • “fixed” smile that could last for six to eight weeks.

There are also other reported side effects linked to the masseter injection. They generally appear within the first week of treatment and include:

  • pain
  • redness at the injection site
  • muscle weakness
  • bruising at the injection site

In very rare circumstances, the injectable can spread into your body. If you notice any of these effects (hours or weeks after your injection), be sure to call your doctor right away:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of bladder control

It’s recommended that you discuss all your treatment options with your dentist before deciding to use cosmetic injectables to treat bruxism.

What are the other treatment options for bruxism?
Depending on the type of clenching and grinding you experience, masseter injection therapy ​may not be the first treatment recommended by your dental professional. If you tend to grind your teeth in your sleep, a nighttime mouth guard is another good treatment option. It can decrease damage to your teeth and lessen soreness from muscle tension. Doing muscle relaxation exercises and consciously improving sleep habits (like avoiding caffeine before bed and keeping a regular sleep schedule) can also help with nighttime bruxism. If you grind your teeth during the day, biofeedback is another possible treatment option. Biofeedback uses sensors to monitor the electrical activity that causes muscle contraction. Being aware of when you’re clenching your teeth may allow you to control the tension in your jaw. Clenching and grinding are involuntary behavioral habits that can be frustrating to experience; however, there are various treatments out there that can help you break the habit. In addition to the possible treatments noted above, getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and practicing good oral hygiene are all steps you can take on your own to relieve tension in your jaw. If these remedies are not enough, be sure to talk with your dentist or doctor about what bruxism treatments are best for you.
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