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The holidays are filled with fun, but along with all the joy, there is undoubtedly lots of stress that comes along with it. One of the biggest, and sometimes most overlooked, symptoms of stress are night-time clenching and teeth grinding. Most of the time, people don’t even realize they’re doing it! It is usually discovered when a partner complains about being kept awake by the noise of teeth gnashing together or when a dentist sees the signs during a dental checkup.

According to the National Health Service, about 6 million people grind their teeth at night – that’s 75 percent of the adult population. Not only does this bad habit cause unpleasant sounds, but it also can make teeth erode, fall out and damage surrounding tissue. This can also result in headaches and pain in the jaw.

Naturally, the jaw muscles react to mental stress by tightening, and since they are the strongest muscle in the body, significant damage can be done. Normally, a person’s upper and lower teeth are in contact for around 20 minutes per day, but people who suffer from clenching and teeth grinding blow that statistic out of proportion: their teeth come into contact as much as 40 minutes every hour. The excessive grinding and clenching can equal out to 250 pounds of pressure on the jaw!

One often overlooked, yet easy solution to this problem is injecting neurotoxins into the jaw – a use popularized by Dr. Graivier to treat people who grind their teeth and have large masseter muscles. When Botox®, Xeomin® or Dysport® is injected into the jaw, it paralyzes the muscle, which decreases its activity. This is argued to be the fastest and most reliable way to get rid of pain caused by clenching and tooth grinding. Over time, this procedure can actually retrain the jaw muscles to stop those unhealthy grinding habits.

Common types of botulinum toxin injections are Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. Botox (Allergan), Dysport (Medicis), and Xeomin (Merz) are all injectable neuromodulators, meaning they can temporarily alter the nerve impulses of targeted muscles, therefore reducing or eliminating contraction-induced wrinkles. Each brand has a slightly different formulation of the same substance, but they all work the same way – and are safe for all skin types and skin colors. However, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any neurological diseases should not use these injectables unless approved by a qualified cosmetic doctor.

Contact The Graivier Center today to schedule your consultation and avoid the unfortunate effects caused by the holiday stress!