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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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€)
Are there other teeth grinders out there?