I took botox for bruxism – and it was so worth it

botox bruxism

In a collaboration with Ebeling dentists

As the title says, I took botox. And no, it wasn’t for aesthetic reasons, though it has impacted my looks quite radically as well. I took botox for my bruxism also known as jaw clenching or teeth grinding, which has been the worst.

As you may know, I have collaborated with Ebeling dentists and on my earlier post I told you about my teeth and insecurities I had with them. Well, they are now whitened and it’s all good. But what I didn’t tell you, was this: the biggest problem with my teeth is bruxism.

In this post I will share my experience with botox, tell you a little about my bruxism and I will talk about the procedure and have my dentist answer some questions about the treatment and the science side of things.

Teeth grinding made my teeth, jaw and head ache

It may sound exaggerated, but bruxism makes your life quite miserable. Because bruxism gone bad, really affects your everyday life. I might have had some better days, when the pain wasn’t that bad (but it was still there), but as my jaw muscles grew and and my clenching got worse, I had more of those really bad days.

It’s funny, how you get used to things. I think my teeth grinding got so bad, that in a way, I got used to waking up with a headache, sore jaw and sore teeth. Every single morning I would wake up with some pain. Luckily I’ve been wearing a night guard for years now – it doesn’t prevent teeth grinding, but it at least protects my teeth. Did you know, that bruxism also causes chipping? I’m all a little too familiar with that.

And as if that wasn’t enough – my jaw was so sore and overworked, that I couldn’t relax my muscles even during the day. I didn’t necessarily grind my teeth during the day, but I had a constant tension in my jaw and especially if I was focusing hard or had stress.

I didn’t even realize it, but I was constantly complaining about a headache – a fact, that my man noticed, since nowadays it rarely happens.

And no – I’m no stranger to trying to find a relief to my sore jaw. I tried to massage it daily, but it didn’t help.

night guard purentakisko

BOTOX FOR BRUXISM

On my very first visit to the dentist, my dentist massaged my masseter muscles and was quite impressed (but not in a good way). I had been working out those muscles hard!

You don’t know how relieved I was, when Sakari said to me: “we could try botox for you”. I had been dreaming about botox for so long. I’m not the only one in my family suffering from bruxism, so we had been talking about botox with my sisters before. I didn’t really know if that treatment was available, and I had not realized that a dentist could perform that treatment. But now that I think of it, of course you should go to a dentist to treat your teeth grinding.

 

THE TREATMENT

The treatment for bruxism with botox is quite simple. Botox is injected in your masseter muscles as well as the muscles in your temples. It is injected with a thin needle and is quite quick and painless. But as always, it’s personal how you experience pain. I didn’t think it was bad at all – then again I had waited for that moment for so long, I wasn’t gonna complain.

botox bruxism before after
Before and after botox. These pictures are taken a month apart. The change here is crazy!

MY EXPERIENCE & RESULTS

I could feel some change in my muscles straight away after the injection. It didn’t make my face feel all relaxed and wonderful immediately, as I had dreamed, but I did notice a positive change. When I tried to bite my teeth together, my muscles didn’t feel as tight as before. And as soon as I got the botox, I felt this huge relief. It was done – and it was very likely, that I could soon see results. Good bye pain! I was so relieved, and happy.

The actual results started to show in one or two weeks – and the best results were seen a month from my treatment, where we set another appointment, to check the situation.

I could feel good results after a week or two. It got better week after week. I noticed, that I didn’t wake up with a sore jaw or sore teeth anymore. I didn’t complain about headaches. And best of all: my jaw felt quite relaxed during the day. This all felt amazing. For once in my life, I didn’t even have to think about bruxism. I felt almost normal – like I had a regular jaw just like anyone else.

I felt peaceful, when I went to bed – I knew, that my now weakened muscles couldn’t work as hard as they used to. They could finally sleep! And I could wake up without pain.

When I massage my jaw even right now, I notice a big change. The muscles don’t feel as tight and big as they did. And it doesn’t hurt to massage them! At least not as much, as it did before taking botox.

I also noticed a change in my appearance. 

My jawline got leaner.  My cheekbones were even more visible, than before – and all of a sudden I got lots of compliments on them.

The change, that has happened in my face, is quite shocking. I had never realized, that my bruxism actually affected my looks as well. But now that my face is all lean again, I feel like my face is more proportionate. I remember looking at some older photos of myself, when my bruxism wasn’t that bad, and wondered, how I looked so young and somehow so different. It was because my face shape has changed so much, because of bruxism.

Botox in my experience has not not affected my eating or the ability to bite and chew food. I can eat normally.

before after botox jaw
My jawline, when my bruxism was at it’s very worst – and my jawline now, after having the botox treatment for it.

ennen jälkeen botox

Now to the important question: did my bruxism end altogether?

Unfortunately, not completely. Bruxism has a lot to do with stress (at least with me) and I still grind my teeth a little. If I’m stressed, I do it more and I might feel a slight tension. But it’s nothing compared to what it used to be! It has decreased a lot. I feel so, so much better.

It’s now been about a month and a half since taking botox. I am both a bit scared and excited to see, how long the effect will last. It’s – again – personal, and can’t be promised. But what I do know, is that as soon as my pain starts to come back, I’m heading back to the needle.

ebeling hammaslääkärit kokemuksia

Finally, I let my dentist Sakari Ebeling to answer some questions about botox and bruxism:

What is bruxism and how common it is?

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is an activity regulated by your central nervous system. Personality type (like perfectionism), stress, anxiety, nicotine and caffeine and certain drug use can cause that. 15-20% of the population under 50-years suffers from bruxism.

What different treatments are there for bruxism?

Primary treatments are night guards, massaging the muscles and avoiding stress. If these don’t help, you can try botox.

How does botox work?

Botox contains botulinum toxin, which temporarily paralyzes the muscle. It’s effective for 2-6 months, but the benefit can also be of long-term, since the muscle that has been resting for several months is weaker than before.

How is the treatment done? In which muscles is botox injected?

Botox is injected with a very thin needle to jaw line’s and temple’s muscles. The treatment takes less than five minutes.

How long does it take to see results?

Botox starts to influence in 3-4 days. The best results are usually achieved within two weeks.

How long do the results last?

It’s effective for 2-6 months. But the benefits can last longer and sometimes it’s possible to learn away from bruxism with the treatment.

Does botox have any side effects?

There are not really side effects. If the dosage is wrong or the injection spot is wrong, then the wrong muscle can weaken. The treatment is not done for pregnant or nursing women or for people suffering from muscle dystrophy.

For who would you recommend botox?

For anyone,who suffers from jaw pain or headaches and for those, who have not gotten enough help from the night guard. Sometimes raising your eyebrows or scrunching your forehead can cause headache, so botox injected on forehead can help. Botox can also be used to smooth unwanted wrinkles.

happy botox

Needless to say, I warmly recommend – and almost urge – you to try botox, if you suffer from bruxism or jaw clenching. The treatment is a bit pricey, but I feel like the results are worth it. At least it’s something, that I am ready to invest in. It’s about my wellbeing, after all.

Botox treatment is not that common in Finland or in Helsinki, but Sakari Ebeling provides the treatment at Ebeling dentists. Their price is actually very reasonable too, if you look at other clinics. I also got a discount for you!

By mentioning my blog’s name “Charlotta Eve” you get -50€ from your first botox-treatment. (Normal price is 399€)

 

Ebeling dentists – https://ehammas.fi

Are there other teeth grinders out there?

Fixing my smile with dental care

ebeling hammaslääkärit kokemuksia

sakari ebeling dentist hammaslääkäri

Collaboration with Ebeling dentists
Contains a discount for you at the end of this post

Some of you might remember me talking about a big collaboration coming up. Well – now it’s finally here and I’m very excited to tell you that it’s with Ebeling dentists! I knew I wanted to get my teeth and smile fixed – and it was important to me, that the place I would go, would be the kind of place I would go to even outside of the collaboration. Risto has been their client for over a year already and he has always been very happy with everything, so I knew it would probably be the right place for me too. So let’s get into the subject, that is my teeth.

teeth stains värjäytymät hampaissa

First of all: what was wrong with my teeth? In pictures they might seem fine and I’ve even gotten a few compliments on them, of how straight and white they look. But in reality, I was feeling a bit self conscious about them. I had pretty bad stains on my lower teeth. And I know I’m not alone – it seems to be pretty common to be ashamed of your teeth. Maybe they’re not that straight, or maybe their color isn’t that even. It saddens me too hear, every time someone says they try not to smile that wide, so that their teeth wouldn’t show. I can relate to that, but at the same time I feel like it shouldn’t be like that.

Teeth are a pretty distinctive part of us, so it makes sense to keep good care of them. Spend a little time, effort and money on them. So keeping that in mind, I’d like to tell you about a few things you could do to your teeth to boost up your confidence.

smile teeth

Calculus/plaque removal & soda cleaning

Did you know, that calculus can cause you bad breath and gingivitis?
And did you know, that removing calculus and cleaning your teeth with soda can make your teeth totally stain-free, clean and whiter?

I had gingivitis before going to the procedure, and I was intrigued to hear that calculus can affect that infection and cause that. I wonder if that was the case with me. I was happy about this appointment, because I knew removing calculus would already make my teeth look better.

hyvä suuhygienisti helsinki

But what was even more intriguing was the soda cleaning, that was done to my teeth. I had never even heard of that – and it’s no wonder. I’ve only been a customer to public dental care and they don’t really care of the aesthetic aspect of your teeth. In other words: they won’t remove your stains, as it’s just your problem. But having done this once – I’m already hooked! I think in the future this will act as my teeth whitening. Just look at the photos and see how good my teeth look.

And as always with teeth procedures, the guestion is: does it hurt? Nope. The only thing that felt a bit uncomfortable was the scraping and removing of the calculus (but that could also be, because of the inflammation I had on my gums). The other part, soda cleaning, didn’t feel like anything.

For anyone suffering from stains – I urge you to try the soda cleaning! It’s also a great option for teeth whitening, as it does brighten your smile quite a lot. I know teeth whitening might cause ache to some, so this would also be a painless option.

before and after soda cleaning
Before and after plaque removal + soda cleaning.

Dentist Sakari Ebeling answered some questions:

How does soda cleaning work?
Small sodium bicarbonate crystals are blown with water-air shower on the tooth’s surface and that removes the stains and calculus.

Does soda cleaning affect my dental enamel?
In normal use, no. If you would do it every day, then it could wear out the dental enamel, just like brushing your teeth too hard could do.

Can I whiten my teeth at home with baking soda?
It’s not recommended. Brushing your teeth with baking soda at home may wear out your dental enamel. In some DIY teeth whitening instructions lemon juice is used together with soda – that especially wears out the dental enamel.

teeth whitening
During teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening

If you really want to get your teeth brighter and whiter, your option is obviously teeth whitening. Ebeling dentist do this in two ways: using the regular hydrogen peroxide or carbamide. The teeth whitening I got done, was done with hydrogen peroxide. I was a bit nervous about my appointment, as I thought that I would have to keep my mouth open for an hour and I could already feel my jaw clench. Luckily this wasn’t the case.

My teeth whitening experience was very pleasant. My dental hygienist Katariina was very calm and professional and she was constantly making sure that I was okay and that I didn’t feel any ache. I didn’t have to keep my mouth open, as the holder kept my mouth open all the time. The whitening paste was on my teeth for twenty minutes at a time, forty minutes altogether. Those two twenty minutes went by quickly and I was able to relax a little, listen to the music and check my Instagram (maybe you saw my glamorous snaps).

ebeling hammaslääkärit katariina matilainen
Me right after teeth whitening (hence the big smile!) with dental hygienist Katariina Matilainen.

Does teeth whitening hurt?

I only felt a little ache in my teeth during the whitening. A small ache is normal during this procedure, but as always, it’s very personal how we experience pain. For a day, my teeth and gums felt a little sensitive, and in the evening I experienced some ache, but that’s normal and lasts only for a couple of days. For me, it was only for the day and after that my teeth were perfectly fine. So in terms of pain, I would say that it’s worth it to get a white smile only for the price of small ache in the evening.

After the procedure I got home instruction including a list of foods and drinks I should avoid. But I should mention that I did get a permission to drink latte the next day (my fellow coffee addicts surely understand). The list wasn’t long or bad and it was only for two days, so that didn’t really limit my life.

As my teeth were already quite white naturally (and thanks to the sodium carbonate cleaning!), they went about one shade whiter. You can still see the difference though: my smile is now super bright and I feel like it couldn’t be any better. This too is personal and depends on your teeth. Normally your teeth should go 1-3 shades whiter.

hampaidenvalkaisu helsinki
Before and after teeth whitening.

Dentist Sakari Ebeling also answered some questions about teeth whitening:

Does teeth whitening ruin your dental enamel?
No it doesn’t. It may cause some momentary ache in some patients. It’s still not recommended to whiten your teeth many times per a year.

Does whitening affect dentin or does it only whiten the surface of your teeth?
It whitens dentin through the small dentin tubules.

You do whitening with hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide – what’s the difference?
Hydrogen peroxide, which is the stronger substance, is mostly used in-office treatments. Carbamide peroxide is mostly used at-home-treatments. Carbamide peroxide turns to mild hydrogen peroxide and affects that way.

hammaslääkäripelko apua

Dental fear & anxiety

I couln’t write this post without talking about my dental fear, because it’s pretty important to take into consideration when you’re – you know – dealing with dentists. I think almost all of us dread going to the dentist and actually having some anxiety towards it is also pretty common. Ebeling dentists provide services for people who have dental fear and they have for example a cute dog, that can be there for you, if you need it.

My anxiety wasn’t that bad at these visits, just because the atmosphere in the place is so calm and all the personnel are so nice and welcoming. And what was surprisingly calming, was the fact that there was music playing in the rooms as well! I definitely feel, that going to this place I am less scared than usual. That said, I’ll definitely get some drugs for my wisdom teeth removal later (wisdom teeth removal is my ultimate teeth nightmare after all).

I am now super happy with my teeth and I feel like it has given me a major confidence boost! It says on Ebeling’s site that “Your smile is our business card!” and me leaving the building with a silly grin on my face sure endorses that statement.

white smile

hammaslääkäripelkoon helpotusta

Discounts to Ebeling dentists

Now you have a great opportunity to get to Ebeling’s dental care. I recommend first booking an appointment to checkup, so you get a good insight of your teeth’s health. For me, we first checked out the situation and took roentgen picture, which showed that I have some wisdom teeth, that need to be removed soon. It’s also notable, that before whitening, plaque neeeds to be removed.

Checkup and X-ray picture  69€ (normal price 119,€)
*When you’re entitled to social insurance compensations. If you’ve been to checkup already in 2017 or 2018, the price is 15,5€ higher.

Soda cleaning free of charge, when making an appoinment to plaque removal (normal price +15€)

*Plaque removal 60mins 111€. Without social insurance compensation 129€. To get the compensation, you need a referral from a private dentist, which you get from the checkup.

Whitening 200€ (norm 300€)

Discounts are valid to appointments booked in May. You get the discount by mentioning this blog’s name ‘Charlotta Eve’, when booking.

Another thing to note – Ebeling dentists never add any additional costs or office fees. A good quality service is always included in the price.

best dentist helsinki
Ebeling dentists
 
Porkkalankatu 7 A
00180 Helsinki
 
phone: 010 323 3963
 teeth whitening results
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