Bruxism; At A Glance

  • Best Results1-2 injection sessions
  • Treatment RecoveryNo downtime
  • Procedure Time1-5 min
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim
  • Duration of Results4-6 months
  • AnaestheticNil required
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$$


Bruxism is a common condition that can present medically or aesthetically. Symptoms include frequent headaches, & teeth grinding. Signs include prominent masseter muscles giving a powerful broad jawline. Teeth grinding can lead to cracks & damage on the surfaces of teeth.

FactsFacts on Bruxism

  • This condition is related to stress & sleeping habits
  • Patients may experience teeth grinding during sleep
  • Headaches, jaw & neck pain are frequent complaints
  • Prominent masseter & temple muscle are prominent signs
  • Dental examination may reveal worn or cracked teeth
  • Treatments include muscle relaxing injections
  • Dental splints can be a useful adjunct to injections

What is bruxism?

By definition, bruxism is classified as a sleep related disorder. This is because patients frequently clench or grind their teeth during their sleep. They may have unrelated disorders including sleep apnoea. Not infrequently their partners may suffer poor sleep due to awakening secondary to teeth grinding.

How do you know if you suffer from bruxism?

Symptoms include-

  • Pain just below the jawline. Headaches, jaw, neck & face pain.
  • Dull ache in the temples
  • Poor sleep, teeth grinding
  • Accidental cheek chewing

Signs of bruxism include-

  • Worn & or broken teeth
  • Tight & prominent jaw muscles (masseters)
  • A prominent & square jawline

When to see a specialist?

Consider seeing a specialist if you have persistent signs or symptoms of bruxism including broken teeth, persistent, frequent & debilitating headaches, anxiety or tension. 

Bruxism can also present as an aesthetic concern, namely a broad lower one third of the face. This is due to overactive masseter muscles. Though more commonly seen in Asian & European women, bruxism & masseter hypertrophy can be seen across all cultures.

What is the most effective way to treat bruxism?

Simple muscle relaxing injections can make a dramatic difference in the signs & symptoms of bruxism. They work by relaxing the masseter muscles which are the large muscles near the backs of the cheeks that move the jaw. The injections work by relaxing this muscle to prevent involuntary teeth grinding and clenching.

How: Anti-wrinkle injections

Procedure: 2 minutes

Last: 4-6 months

Downtime: 0 days

This will gradually soften the jaw and prevent further damage to teeth. Patients will also find that they experience fewer headaches. Facial expressions are not affected by anti-wrinkle injections. As a guide, this simple procedure takes 1-2 minutes to perform. Evaluation and planning take about 5 minutes.

Muscle relaxants typically last 3-6 months & begin to work at 7 to 10 days. While injections are not a cure for bruxism, they can give significant relief for several months. Injections will also soften the jawline, which is important for facial aesthetics.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Bruxism

This common condition can present to GPs, dentists, sleep specialists, & dermatologists. Dentists see the signs of bruxism, namely cracked molars & ground down articular surfaces, whilst GPs & neurologists are often consulted with the symptoms of bruxism- namely headaches.

As for me? I normally see the signs with co-incidental finding of bruxism, namely overtly active masseter muscles causing a boxy or squarish look in females. My bruxism patients come in for facial slimming or V shaping. Treatments to reduce masseter bulk, and hence slim down the face, is with really simple muscle relaxants or ‘anti-wrinkle injections.’ It takes a week or so before symptoms to decrease, whilst the aesthetic effects are seen after 4 weeks. The use of splint at night can prolong the duration of muscle relaxing injections.

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