What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that refers to excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching — often as a result of stress and anxiety-related issues. Grinding and clenching of the teeth cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including jaw discomfort, stiffness, earaches, and headaches. These symptoms can make it difficult to go about your everyday tasks, and may even contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. TMJ is another condition that causes the muscles in the lower jaw to lock up, altering the way the mouth opens and closes.

What leads

to teeth grinding and jaw clenching?

Four research publications related to twin studies have found that bruxism appears to be, in part, genetically determined. Certain medications, consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, tobacco and recreational drug use, sleeping patterns, and other lifestyle choices also contribute to bruxism. Additionally, some individuals might grind their teeth due to an abnormal bite, jaw misalignment, or underlying dental health problems.

How does

bruxism affect your smile and face shape?

Repetitive grinding can gradually loosen the teeth, make them crowd and shift together, and deteriorate their enamel, often resulting in flat, chipped, or broken teeth. This strain can alter the appearance of your face and produce a collapsed smile where the upper lip folds inward, revealing less of the upper teeth and more of the lower teeth. As the lips cave in and the bite collapses, the ability to smile may grow increasingly more difficult, affecting the natural smiling face.

Who is

an ideal candidate for aesthetic bruxism treatment?

Those with a collapsed or uneven smile who want to achieve a more youthful appearance and a lifted smile are great candidates for aesthetic treatment. Non-surgical treatment can aid in making the lips appear less puckered and compressed, thus enhancing the smile and facial profile. People who frequently experience jaw pain as a result of bruxism or TMJ are also ideal candidates since treatment can help to diminish frequent headaches, ringing in the ears, and other common symptoms that result from these conditions.

How can

a collapsed smile be treated?

At Essential Aesthetics, we utilize Botox to accomplish a functional and aesthetic smile makeover. Botox is an effective jaw clenching treatment that works by paralyzing the facial muscles that cause tension along the jaw. In preventing this tension and freezing the masseter muscle, the pain and damage that often stems from bruxism can be significantly reduced. Botox also works to remove wrinkles caused by a collapsed bite. Most patients will start noticing a significant decrease in, if not complete resolution of, their teeth grinding symptoms within two weeks of the injection. A typical BOTOX® treatment dose for this area ranges from up to 50 units on each side — for a total treatment dose of 100 units. The effects of Botox typically last about 6 months. A few Botox injections can potentially shrink the masseter muscles, resulting in a longer-lasting outcome.

Repair and restore your smile at Essential Aesthetics!

Our medical provider, Dr. Ellie Zarnegar, DMSc, PA-C can help regenerate your smile, and give you a more youthful appearance. Call or text our office today at 925.855.177 to book a consultation appointment!