2

votes

Face changes from bruxism - considering botox.

Answered on October 20, 2014
Created July 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Sooooooo the past 6 months or so, i've noticed my jawline has been slowly softening and the lower part of my face expanding. It's like i've been squirrelling macadamias into my cheek pockets and storing for the winter! Attractive. Friends/family thought I was crazy, told me to stop obsessing and most likely assumed I'd just put on weight. I kinda did too - although instinct told me it was probably extra muscle from all those badass squats.

Anyway!

I had a revelatory diagnosis yesterday by an expert dental friend who suggested that I've been grinding my teeth - makes incredible sense as I sometimes have a sore jaw when tearing a big piece of raw rump from a wildebeest or some such paleo-prey. Also, headaches, funky teeth...been told in the past I grind...basically all added up. Apparently it's well known that the masseter muscle in the cheek can bulk up after prolonged clenching, causing a square-jawed appearance...and general woe for the wearer.

The problem is this: I feel SUPER SELF-CONSCIOUS about the state of my jowls - I look at photos from a year ago and pine for my normal, somewhat svelte face. I know that getting my various dental problems fixed may eventually correct it all again, but for now, my hideous vanity dictates I return to my usual proportions, STAT!

I've started supplementing magnesium again in the hopes of releasing any excess tension, but my google wanderings have also led me to another super tempting, completely non-paleo option: botox.

It works by weakening the masseter so that in a few weeks...hey grok! You're back to looking like a chiselled cavewoman. Aside from the fact it's quite $$$, and the obvious downer of it being a fatally paralysing toxin, would anyone ever consider this kind of 'cosmetic' intervention for bruxism?

Has anyone else experienced this widening/fattening of the jaw from grinding?

I am so impatient; I just want to feel good about myself again, because to be honest, I've felt like a certified chode (not to be terribly self-deprecating) for the past 6 months. Seriously want my face back.

Any advice would be welcomed with open jaws!

9b9b328e50e6fa3afd1ee68495a8bac2

(147)

on July 25, 2012
at 10:56 PM

I love this answer Karen. Thanks for pulling me back to reality and injecting a healthy dose of 'get a grip!'.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 25, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Yeah, I had throat pain and ear pain. It's obnoxious.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 04:26 PM

No Karen just trying to say there's nothing wrong with trying to look good. Especially because this bruxism thing might have a solution.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Karen, I'll have to disagree. It's ok to be wary, but let's be completely serious here. Botox is one of the most common routine "cosmetic" procedures. It's also one of the easiest to master. I'd sooner get weekly botox injections than any 1 cosmetic surgery of any kind.

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on July 25, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Oops, I meant magnesium glycinate. Still has a deterimental effect at 200 mg

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:40 PM

No, health and superficial appearance are definitely not the same thing.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Korion, are you actually saying Catie should go for the botox?! Or you off thinking about your own troubles?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:10 PM

*"Do you go through your day noticing every single minor flaw in other peoples appearance? They don't do that with you either. Anyone who does is too shallow to be worth noticing anyway."* it's not about flaws, it's about things that have changed suddenly and have made you look weird. I don't care about my imperfections at all, but a weird jaw that I didn't have before, no, that's not an imperfection, I consider it a symptom that has to be treated. *"Paleo is not about appearances! It's about health."* isn't health and appearance the same thing?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:48 PM

Magnesium Glycinate has the same relaxation effect, without as much effect on the bowels.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Hypothyroidism does mess with magnesium levels :)

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10 Answers

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4
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Not worth the risk, not worth the price. Listen to your friends and family on this.

Do you go through your day noticing every single minor flaw in other peoples appearance?* They don't do that with you either. Anyone who does is too shallow to be worth noticing anyway.

*If the answer is yes, which I really doubt it will be - Get a life!

Add: "It works by weakening the masseter so that in a few weeks...hey grok! You're back to looking like a chiselled cavewoman." Paleo is not about appearances! It's about health. You already know the answer to this question.

Added: Have you actually read some of the warnings on botox?

OnabotulinumtoxinA injection may spread from the area of injection and cause symptoms of botulism, including severe or life threatening difficulty breathing or swallowing. People who develop difficulty swallowing during their treatment with this medication may continue to have this difficulty for several months. They may need to be fed through a feeding tube to avoid getting food or drink into their lungs. Symptoms can occur within hours of an injection with onabotulinumtoxinA or as late as several weeks after treatment. ......

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000440/#a608013-sideEffects

No amount of vanity is worth that kind of risk.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:10 PM

*"Do you go through your day noticing every single minor flaw in other peoples appearance? They don't do that with you either. Anyone who does is too shallow to be worth noticing anyway."* it's not about flaws, it's about things that have changed suddenly and have made you look weird. I don't care about my imperfections at all, but a weird jaw that I didn't have before, no, that's not an imperfection, I consider it a symptom that has to be treated. *"Paleo is not about appearances! It's about health."* isn't health and appearance the same thing?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 04:26 PM

No Karen just trying to say there's nothing wrong with trying to look good. Especially because this bruxism thing might have a solution.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on July 25, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Karen, I'll have to disagree. It's ok to be wary, but let's be completely serious here. Botox is one of the most common routine "cosmetic" procedures. It's also one of the easiest to master. I'd sooner get weekly botox injections than any 1 cosmetic surgery of any kind.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Korion, are you actually saying Catie should go for the botox?! Or you off thinking about your own troubles?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 25, 2012
at 01:40 PM

No, health and superficial appearance are definitely not the same thing.

9b9b328e50e6fa3afd1ee68495a8bac2

(147)

on July 25, 2012
at 10:56 PM

I love this answer Karen. Thanks for pulling me back to reality and injecting a healthy dose of 'get a grip!'.

4
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I'm a bruxer (wear a night guard), and while it hasn't caused my masseter muscle to stick out, all my teeth except my incisors are chipped and worn down from the past 20+ years. It's not a stress thing either, or a magnesium deficiency. When I go to sleep, my jaws just lock up. I don't do it during the day at all. In fact, I naturally keep the tip of my tongue resting against the backs of my upper incisors (am doing it now), teeth held slightly apart. I'm not a mouth breather at night either, thanks in large part to wearing Breathe Right nosestrips which allow 30%+ more oxygen into my system. It might be a learned habit from having buck teeth as a kid and not wanting to drool all over myself at night, but I've even woken up in the middle of the night and been surprised at how difficult it is to relax my jaw muscles back to normal.

Bruxism is a learned habit and since it's done while you're unconscious, even if you remove the cause (stress, nutritional deficiency, etc) the habit will persist. The only treatment that's been shown to have any effectiveness is biofeedback bands you wear at night.

From Wikipedia:

Clinical trials have shown that after three brief sessions of Pavlovian response conditioning while awake, and subsequent use of a biofeedback headband during sleep, more than 75% of bruxism sufferers experience more than a 60% reduction in nighttime clenching from the first day of biofeedback onward, and more than 50% of bruxism sufferers experience more than an 80% reduction in bruxism within the first month. Typical consumer cost of a biofeedback headband is between US$300 and 400.

2
9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on July 25, 2012
at 12:31 PM

I used to grind my teeth at night, but found that it subsided when supplementing magnesium citrate, 50 to 100 mg before bedtime. Magnesium helps muscles relax, so you might try ways of increasing your Mg levels. My personal experience is that 200 mg magnesium citrate has too much of a laxative effect.

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on July 25, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Oops, I meant magnesium glycinate. Still has a deterimental effect at 200 mg

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:48 PM

Magnesium Glycinate has the same relaxation effect, without as much effect on the bowels.

1
E76821f1019f5284761bc4c33f2bf044

(383)

on July 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

badly expressed but possibly related: temps, thyroid, cortisol, carb restriction due to paleo. Retainers that prevent clenching interrupt a biofeedback loop about stress and thus lower cortisol; worth trying. Mine reduced crazy-annoying eustacian tube spasms and neck tension in less than 6 weeks. But if it's truly paleo-related, maybe your carbs are too low. (that click is a TMJ misalignment btw)

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 25, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Yeah, I had throat pain and ear pain. It's obnoxious.

1
8d93455e9b5c459d2a290f55fa7c238f

on July 25, 2012
at 04:07 PM

I had terrible problems with bruxism, including the muscles in my jaw getting bigger, constant head and face ache, clicking jaw, general fatigue from lack of quality sleep, etc etc...

I tried a night guard which only served to stop me sleeping.

Then I went to a hypnotherapist, who helped me deal with the underlying issues causing the stress and resulting grinding. Honestly? The single best thing I have ever done in my life.

Look into hypnotherapy, EFT or something similar. You may think it expensive, but if you're seriously considering botox, then this will probably be cheaper in the long run (as it's permanent!) :)

Good luck

1
D74cb1bb57c581421865eee3901158f0

on July 25, 2012
at 03:58 PM

Clenching and grinding during the day is a big factor. Take the time to look that the face people you work with. You can see the muscles twitching. That can be decreased with awareness. Night time is a different story. Destress, magnesium, journal if needed and look into an NTI night guard rather than the convensional full mouth one. If you choose to go the Botox route, make sure it a well experienced practioner.

Relax and enjoy !

0
C67450cdf9752fa61417eff837be590c

on October 20, 2014
at 07:26 AM

I have a bruxism ( clenching/grinding at night) It's all quite random as to when it happens, been doing it since I was a kid aparently.  Botox works a treat temporarily, no tension, no grinding and my jaw line was slimmer,if it wasn't so expensive ($800NZD a pop because you need a double dose since the masseter is such a big muscle compared to other facial muscles) i would be getting this done every 6 months.  But I am a student so this will not do.  The main cause of bruxism from what I have researched seems to be crooked teeth.  Top set of teeth doesn't align properly to the bottom, it seems all your subconcious wants to do it align the two, thus the grinding.  So Im planning to get invisilign (clear braces). Has anybody else had braces to resolve bruxism? 

So long story short, botox is awesome, couple of pricks in the jaw and you are sweet for near 6months.

 

Hope this helps,

Can't wait to sort this my jaw hurts

xox Jane

0
C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

on July 25, 2012
at 04:11 PM

I had a custom mouth guard made by a really good dentist. He was really ocd about fitting it and having me come in for additional adjustments. It only fits over my lower teeth and is kind of small and I can wear it while sleeping. I noticed when I do a lot of clenching, my lower jaw is kind of pulled back in too far and this mouthpiece seems to relax the lower jaw a little more foward, just enough to lengthen those muscles to a more relaxed state. The mouthpiece also makes me mentally aware of relaxing my jaw, which helps retrain the muscles over time.

Now I'd only wear it when I feel things consistently tensing up again. It was kind of expensive, but effective and comfortable. I'd make sure you use a very good dentist if you go that route. They have special films they put in your mouth that you bite down on to see if you're aligning exactly right when they are fitting it. He should be having you do that over and over again until he gets it exactly right. I used to have a lazy jerk dentist that didn't care, so I switched to this new guy that helped my problem.

I wanted to add: massage is very helpful. There are several things you can do to help relax the jaw. Initially it can probably benefit from self massage several times a day. You can feel around your joints with your fingers and apply pressure where you feel things are tight. I'm sure you can find some good videos as well. We were taught something like this in massage school http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0EJLP69Osk and I do it on myself sometimes. It feels pretty good.

0
81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 25, 2012
at 02:29 PM

I find nothing wrong with being vain. I'm losing my hair and at some point, will probably get that hair transplant surgery if I can afford it. Most (if not all) of us at some point began the health journey on the premise of losing weight...to look better! It just so happens that living a healthy lifestyle and looking 'good' or 'fit' go hand in hand.

I would question if Botox is really the answer. You are attacking the symptom and not the underlying issue. You will have to continually treat the symptom if the underlying issue is not resolved. Several posters have already highlighted possible causes and solutions to this issue. So ask yourself these questions:

Why are you now clenching your jaw at night? What is causing this?

Remember, you did not always do this. I would explore other alternatives before implementing a temporary solution that will cost you $2,000+ a year until the day you die.

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Oh makawaka what perfect timing, Catie, when I open my jaws they seem to not fit on my head anymore (it's hard to explain but one jaw clicks before the other and for a short moment it is completely assymetric). Had this problem for 2 years (had serious health problems since then too), and I suddenly told that to someone, and she said that she has it too, she doesn't recognize herself anymore. I first thought I was lieing to myself, and that I just wanted attention. But there must be something...

It's horrible, and the only thing I've noticed is that it solves itself when my body temperature is 37°C. I then get a smaller, tighter face with normal jaws again, but I never manage to keep my temp that high. I did notice my jaws are way more normal than last summer, but whenever I do a serious mistake it all comes back.

So glad to hear I'm not alone for this.

Here's a quote from Ray Peat :

Cartilage in joints tends to swell when the minerals and fluids are disturbed, and hypothyroidism is the most common cause.

On Jul 15, 2012, at 2:02 PM, Korion wrote:

Is it possible that the chin of a person suddenly moves forward? In the past year, I twice had a popping sound in my jaws, and when I look at myself now it looks as if my chin is really leaning forward, making me look awful. Is this also reversible?

He didn't give me any references (he usually does), but I think we have to keep an open mind and try to find out if this is possible to solve.

I'd never consider botox though.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 25, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Hypothyroidism does mess with magnesium levels :)

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