Muscle relaxant injections in the masseter muscle are also an effective treatment for teeth grinding or issues related to the jaw, such as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction (or “TMD”) or Bruxism, which can cause jaw pain or persistent headaches. This treatment also provides the aesthetic benefit of shrinking the jaw muscle to create a slimmer face.
We’ve answered some of the most common questions below when it comes to in-chair muscle relaxant injections administered by your dentist to help you get an understanding of how you can benefit from this treatment.
- What is the masseter muscle?
- What is TMD and bruxism?
- How do muscle relaxants/anti-wrinkle injections work?
- Treating teeth grinding with muscle relaxant injections
- How long does masseter treatment last?
- How long does masseter treatment take?
- Side effects of masseter treatment
What is the masseter muscle?
The masseter is the primary facial muscle used for chewing solids food, which attaches to the lower jawbone and cheekbone. If you clench your teeth and feel along your jaw, you will feel a bump raise itself from the side of your face.
What is TMD and bruxism?
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction or TMD, affects the muscles that move the jaw, resulting in pain and limitation in movement of the jaw joint.
Symptoms of TMD can include:
- Jaw pain
- Muscle spasms
- Ear aches
- Difficulty opening the mouth
Bruxism refers to excessive and involuntary teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which usually occurs while sleeping but can happen throughout the day. It happens as a result of an overly active masseter muscle, and is often triggered by stress.
Bruxism can also cause jaw pain and headaches, as well as lead to:
- Chipped teeth
- Worn down teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Reduction of tooth enamel
- Difficulty chewing
- Changed appearance of face (square/wider jaw)
How do muscle relaxants/anti-wrinkle injections work?
Anti-wrinkle injections are made from a purified protein that causes muscles to relax when injected into the area, by preventing the transmission of chemical signals between the brain and the muscles which tell them to contract. They are commonly used to reduce wrinkles and prevent further lines from forming, as they cause less facial movement. This results in a younger, softer appearance.
They are also commonly used in conjunction with lip fillers, to enhance the lips and other areas of the face.
Treating teeth grinding with muscle relaxant injections
Injecting the masseter muscle with muscle relaxants can provide a number of both medical and aesthetic benefits.
This treatment reduces the strength and activity of the muscle, which also reduces or completely stops the grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw. By doing so, dentists can help patients prevent further wear to the teeth and possible cracking or other damage. This will also assist with the jaw pain, aches, tension and headaches, as well as the grinding noise that can be just as much of a pain to whoever is sleeping next to the person grinding their teeth!
By weakening the muscle, it will also shrink over time, giving the appearance of a slimmer, more V-shaped face and reducing the square-shaped jaw. Aesthetic treatments such as this and in-chair teeth whitening are an effective way to rejuvenate your smile and face.
How long does masseter treatment last?
The effect of muscle relaxant injections lasts for approximately 4-6 months, and when treatment is repeated the muscle will continue to reduce in size over time, meaning treatments can become spaced further apart.
How long does masseter treatment take?
Your appointment will take approximately 15 minutes, and is a very quick and easy process. You can also combine this treatment with other areas of the face, for example anti-wrinkle injections to improve crows feet, frown lines or forehead wrinkles.
After your appointment, it’s important to not apply makeup and avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for 24 hours, and to avoid rubbing/pressing on your face or lying down for 4 hours.
Side effects of masseter treatment
Side effects or complications from treating the masseter with muscle relaxant injections are rare, but may include the following:
- If too much product is used, the muscle can weaken too much which can lead to difficulty chewing solid foods
- If the injection is not placed correctly, it can weaken the muscles of nearby areas such as the smile muscles, which can alter the appearance of the smile
Gold Coast Injectables
To find out if you’re a suitable candidate for masseter treatment, it’s best to speak to your dentist so they can assess your individual case. Oasis Dental Studio offers free cosmetic consultations with our Gold Coast dentists who specialise in injectable treatments alongside our other dental treatments. You can book an appointment online or find out more by giving our friendly team a call: