Muscle Relaxant Injections For Teeth Grinding Part 1

I grind my teeth and it has been really getting me down. I have noticed it more and more lately and it was particularly bad when I was poorly last week and couldn’t wear my guard – I kept coughing so it was not staying in! You see, when I don’t wear the guard, I wake up with a stiff jaw, sore neck, aching masseter muscles and generally I feel tense – which doesn’t help me one bit with my coaching work or radio job, or in anything for that matter.

Apparently the massester muscle is one of the strongest muscles in the body and by definition it is muscle that runs through the rear part of the cheek from the temporal bone to the lower jaw on each side and closes the jaw in chewing.

After writing about my bruxism a few weeks ago, I had messages from women saying that muscle relaxant injections worked for them, so it re-affirmed what I was already thinking – to try it out. My dentist had suggested it a year ago and so this did feel like a natural next step for me.

Dr Tania Robakowska, who has a clinic in Westgate-on-Sea Kent, messaged me saying she would love to show me the benefits of injections for bruxism and I have to say I jumped at the chance. I’d hit a point where I was fed up. I hate grinding my teeth, the faff of cleaning the guard and more importantly the pain it gives me.

10 days ago, Tania and I had a Zoom consultation and she explained that botulinum toxins are used for all types of muscles relaxing and not just for cosmetic procedures. She told me that the toxin is injected into the masseter muscle to help to relax it. My first thought was “will I still be able to talk” and my second one was “I want that!”. Tania reassured me that I will be able to talk – phew – and that the complex mouth and tongue muscles are the power behind this (yep I am not scientific) and the fact of the matter was that for me, my muscles and working over time, and are actually really big!

Lucy Baker standing with Dr Tania Robakowska at her clinic in Westgate on Sea Kent

Today I went to see Tania at her clinic in Westgate-on-Sea, which is actually a short walk from my office. She has a bright, immaculately clean large clinic space which is super welcoming. Tania took a number of photos of me doing the clench/relax/clench/relax thing and we had a good chat about the procedure before I signed her digital consent form.

Lucy Baker ready to have muscle relaxant injections with Dr Tania Robakowska getting the injections ready in clinic

Tania marked out the areas she wanted to inject (I did more clench/relax/clench/relax stuff) using a soft white pencil, designed for marking the skin. The drawings looked a bit like a triangle shape, which was pretty much the area of my masseter muscle.

lucy Baker with area marked out on masseter muscles ready for muscle relaxant injections to help bruxism

Then it was injection time! I am not nervous about injections at all thankfully, especially when they are being poked into your face! eek. I can’t remember how many needle pricks (sharp scratch) I felt on each side, but I know from talking it through with Tania that we went quite low for this first dose of botulinum toxin, in this case she used the brand Azzalure. After the injections were complete, I was asked to clench/relax/clench/relax a few times to get the toxins into the right places within my muscles.

The effects of the toxin can take up to two weeks, so less is always more, and I am back in the clinic in two weeks to review the results., where a top-up may or may not be needed.

The after care advice was to chew chewing gum for a short while afterwards, not lie down (no chance of that – straight back to work for me) and to wear my guard until we see each other again in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much to Tania – her approach is caring, subtle and I know she isn’t keen on over-doing it! I know that many people fear muscle relaxant injections because they are scared of looking super-shiny and fake – I know that Tania isn’t about that – she works with people nd really understands the needs of her patients. My injections weren’t for wrinkle smoothing reasons, but for an over-worked jaw because I grind my teeth – which, I hope, will soon be a thing of the past.

I have to say I am adding back onto the mix; yoga and stretching just help my feel even more relaxed. Teeth grinding is linked to stress, so it is really time to up the calm in my life – with three kids I’ll give it my best shot!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in a week or so.

Lucy

Read my original post on my teeth-grinding (bruxism) here

Dr Tania Robakowska Address12 Cuthbert Rd, Westgate-on-Sea CT8 8NR            Phone: 07488 511050 Muscle relaxant injections for teeth grinding with Tania costs £300.

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I grind my teeth!

For years and years I had neck pain and just could not understand why, all I knew was that it was worse in the mornings. I used to do neck stretches, take pain killers, lie down and stretch when I could, but nothing quite solved it – so I just lived with it.

At a routine dentist appointment 6-years ago, my dentist looked at me through his splatter-proof googles and said “you know you grind your teeth, don’t you?” and as he uttered that one sentence, everything clicked into place. “So that’s why I have such awful neck pain!” I responded. Suddenly, the dull neck pain that I had been living with every day made sense. I am a teeth grinder. I am a bruxer. I grind my teeth.

Bruxism: involuntary habitual grinding of the teeth, typically during sleep.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/teeth-grinding/

My dentist offered me a solution – to have a tooth guard made. He quoted £100 and I went ahead. After taking a mold of my teeth using a cold putty, he sent it to the “lab” and I collected it a week later. I was advised to buy a box of cleansing tablets to keep it bacteria free which I did.

I had no problems with my guard, I didn’t spit it out like some people do and I me and my guard were best buddies until about 4-months later when I noticed that I HAD GROUND THROUGH IT! Two holes appeared at the back where I had been scrunching down on it so hard it was no longer in one piece! Gawd. I called the dentist and I got a replacement, that cost a further £100.

A few months later I thought it would be a good idea to do what I used to do to sterlise my child’s baby bottles, and I plonked my mouth guard into a jug of freshly boiled water. The bloody thing shrank before my eyes and ended up half the size. Needless to say I swore whilst I witnessed this happening. I was so mad at myself – see ya later £100 and hello neck pain!

After a few attempts at buying some online bite guards and moulding them myself, which is a stupid idea because they just don’t work, I booked into a new dentist and she made me a thicker guard that cost around £150 and I still use it to this day. I clean it every day with a toothbrush and I use a retainer (or steradent) tablet in water to get it bacteria free and fresh.

But I don’t like using it. It is annoying. I forget where I put it sometimes, it has gone a yellowy colour, it can go a bit smelly (TMI but it is true), I forgot to wear it if I am tiddly, it is a bit embarrassing and I don’t like taking it away with me when I stay with friends. I just don’t like it.

Over the years, I have tried to ditch the guard in favour of face yoga, face massage, masseter muscle massage etc, but nothing quite works. Nothing stops me bruxing.

I now notice that I am clenching my jaw when I drive, so bruxing is part of my muscular make up now I think, but I wish it wasn’t. People who grind or clench their teeth have a larger masseter muscle and sometimes it is visible, especially on men. You must’ve seen a guy who has a moving jaw/cheek bit, well that’s it! the muscle itself is a useful muscle (they all are I guess) because it helps chewing, it also helps clenching too, which isn’t quite so useful.

I’ve heard that botox can help bruxism, and meditation can too. Since teeth-grinding is very much linked to stress, I can see why the meditation and relaxation can help, but how would freezing the muscle using botox be of use? Anyone?

I don’t feel stressed if I am totally honest, but maybe I am. Three kids, running a home and a business that I am picking back up after a rough lockdown all do add to stress, but I wouldn’t say that I am a stressed person. Blood pressure normal blah blah blah.

So what is the solution? I don’t want to wear the guard every day until I die because it is unslightly and a pain in the bum, I either have all my teeth taken out (no thanks!) or it is masseter muscle botox, is that the next step?

Are you a bruxer? Let me know what you have tried…

Lucy

BRUXER, Confidence Coach, Make-up Artist and geriatric mum!

Lucy Baker is a confidence coach and founder of this blog and the fab facebook group We are Geriatric Mums which currently has 2400 members!

Instagram @geriatric_mum @she_coaches_confidence