Some types of headaches, such as ‘tension headaches’, can be treated using small muscle relaxing injections in the forehead. This treatment can give tremendous relief from pain within 5 days and last for several months. It can have a really positive, life-changing effect on the patient.
Pain in the jaws and jaw joints can be treated in a similar way. When patients have been doing too much grinding and clenching at night, it means that they have been over using their chewing muscles. This can lead to aching jaw muscles, spasm and tenderness in front of the ear. Sometimes the teeth don’t seem to ‘fit’ together correctly. They may not be able to open their mouth fully. The jaw muscles are often enlarged and have become too strong. The teeth then clench together with excessive forces and can become extremely sensitive, sometimes fracturing. The teeth show signs of wear and flatten off. This can spoil their appearance, especially at the front of the mouth.
Muscle relaxing injections can improve some of these symptoms by as much as 90%. The jaw muscles are deliberately weakened so that they cannot exert such huge forces onto the teeth and they become much more relaxed. It may be required for the patient to wear a plastic night guard between the teeth during sleep, to keep the back teeth apart, as part of the treatment plan. This also protects the teeth and their length and appearance.
The treatment can cause the face to slim and become more tapered, because the weaker muscles lose their bulk. This can be desirable especially in a woman, but may be less desirable for people who like their face shape the way it is.
Patients who grind and clench a lot at night can have enlarged jaw muscles which make their faces look square and heavy. By using small muscle relaxing injections in these muscles, we can reduce them in size. This slims down the lower part of the face, allow the cheek bones which are higher up, to look more defined. This can make a woman look more feminine and give the face more aesthetic curves.