Teeth grinding, headaches, and facial shaping with muscle relaxant injections
Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
Overactivity of the masseter muscle, the muscle responsible for chewing that is located at the angle of the jaw, is often responsible for teeth grinding and headaches. This can often be a debilitating condition, and as the grinding usually occurs at night, this is a common cause for early morning headaches. The temporalis muscle, located over the temples, is also associated with this problem.
Due to TGA restrictions, the actual name of the muscle relaxant used cannot be named, but is a commonly used injection for treating facial wrinkles that can also be used as a simple and effective means of helping reduce masseter muscle overactivity. This muscle relaxant helps to reduce the overactivity of the muscle, without disturbing the normal functioning of the muscle. In a study of 90 patients who had facial headaches, 60 were given the muscle relaxant to the masseter muscles, and 30 were given a placebo. The results showed a significant improvement in those receiving muscle relaxant treatments (The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Volume 61, issue 7, Lindern et al).
Furthermore, there is a cosmetic enhancement that can occur with this treatment, as the jawline tends to slim and look less ‘square’.