Are you grinding your teeth?
You may be able to tell whether you have grinding if you have clicking or painful jaw joints, sensitive teeth, headaches in the temples from over grinding, etc. Or your family may inform you that you are making grinding or tapping noises at night even though you are not aware of it.
Your dentist is also able to advise you on whether you are doing so, by looking at the degree of wear and tear on your teeth such as cracked or fractured teeth and at your temporomandibular joint (TMJ, the movable joint at the back of your jaws).
This is known as bruxism, defined by excessive grinding of teeth or excessive clenching of the jaws. It is actually very common but frequently unnoticed or undetected by the people suffering from it until it is too late, where the teeth become very worn down.
Most of the time, the cause of grinding is unknown or unresolvable. Fret not, this does not spell the end of the world for grinders. You can control the damage caused by persistent grinding with the following ways:
- Visit your dentist for a mouth guard to wear during sleep, especially if you are a night grinder.
- Decrease the strength and intensity of grinding by relaxing your chewing muscles — the masseters — with injectable botox treatment. This places a suitable amount of botulinum into the grinding muscles so as to relax them and thereafter reduce the intensity of grinding and the damage it can cause.
At the same time, the relaxation of these muscles will also help the muscles to shrink in size and bulk. Big masseter muscles are a common problem among grinders (just like bodybuilding) and gives the appearance of a round or square face. Slimming these muscles will then restore the appearance of a slimmer face.
If you are suffering from teeth grinding, leading to painful joints, weak teeth or a big face, hesitate not to seek medical treatment immediately to alleviate those troublesome symptoms and unjustified appearance of big square jaws!
You may also read up more about botulinum treatment for the jaws here: http://www.tiffinyyangclinic.com/facial-slimming-jaw-reduction/