Stress rears her ugly head in so many ways it’s hard to keep track.
Wrinkles, acne, dull hair and skin, headaches, infections—the list
goes on and on. Everyone’s body channels and releases stress in
different ways, but me? Teeth grinding is my stress thing. My masseter
muscles (the ones responsible for chewing) are the greatest bearer of
my bodily stress, and to make matters worse, most of the clenching was
happening at night, so I couldn’t even catch myself in the act and
modify the behavior. I would wake up every morning with tightness and
soreness along the side of my face that I would try—fruitlessly—to
massage away. Before you could say “night guard,” I had cracked
the filling on a molar and wore down another molar to a rounded stump.
I wanted to find a real preventative solution that would help me avoid
extra trips to the dentist: twice a year for my cleaning is more than
enough, thank you.
Grinding Your Teeth? Botox to the Rescue
Botox, which is fast becoming a panacea for all sorts of health and beauty
issues, is a very useful tool for dealing with jaw tension. This makes
sense: Botox paralyzes muscles, and teeth grinding is caused by the masseter
muscle going into nocturnal overdrive. Weaken the masseter muscle and
you alleviate most, if not all, of this tension and greatly minimize cracking
and dulling yours molars. Essentially, it’s Botox for your teeth.
It’s Quick & Painless
I visited Dr. Dara Liotta, Chief Medical Director at City Aesthetics at
Totum Health, for this unbelievably quick and painless procedure. It took
ten minutes and two tiny pinches. The first time she did the procedure
she used 20 units of Botox on each side. When Botox is used to relax the
facial muscles that cause fine lines, the maximum effect is seen in 7-10
days. When Botox is used on the masseter muscle, the maximum effect is
not seen for three months, and results can last up to nine months. Dr.
Liotta recommended I get repeat injections every six months to maintain
results. She also said that many people enjoy very long term results after
three treatments. Within a month, I noticed a huge difference in the pain
and tightness around my jaw. I no longer woke up every morning feeling
like I’d been gnawing on a wad of Hubba Bubba all night. Now, nine
months since my first injection, I’m happy to say I haven’t
had to make a single extra dental visit!
Happy Side Effects
As if the reduction in pain and dental visits was not enough, the procedure
has cosmetic benefits as well. I have always thanked my Russian ancestors
for my chiseled cheekbones, but since the Botox reduced the size of my
masseter muscle, it also reduced and softened my jawline, creating a more
dramatic angle from my cheek to my jaw. This allowed my cheekbones to
pop even more than before. When Dr. Liotta showed me pictures taken before
and then two months post-procedure, I was floored.
Using Botox to reduce the jawline is fast becoming a popular procedure
as it is minimally invasive—traditional jaw reduction surgery involves
breaking and removing part of the jaw bone. Ouch! Oh Botox, what will
you think of next?!
Article originally featured on Yahoo Health