Toxin treatment for headaches due to bruxism or clenching

This treatment is now only available at Brighton Laser Clinic. Please ring 01273 686869 for appointments

Botulinum toxins can relieve facial pain originating in the chewing muscles. Botox can also reduce the size of these bulky chewing muscles.

Pain from the jaw joint, temples and even from the area of the ear or throat can be due to teeth grinding. Jaw clenching can produce a square wider looking jaw or a wide based triangular facial shape.

The causes can be complicated and can include the way the teeth bite together, clenching due to stress and grinding teeth during sleep, known as bruxism. Patients have often ground off bits of teeth, broken dental bridges and have been provided with a bite guard to wear over the teeth.


Examination will pinpoint which of the four big chewing muscles are tender or enlarged. After specific measurements and photographing, Botulinum toxin injections are targeted, to relax the overworking muscle group. The muscles I most regularly treat are the Masseter muscle in the cheek and the muscle overlying the temple. Where the pain appears to originate in front of the ear or in the throat, it is also necessary to inject the Pterygoid group of muscles.

What happens next?

Over the next 6 weeks, the clenching power and size of the affected muscle are reduced and hopefully with it, the associated pain. At 6 weeks, we review the treatment and photograph the area.

It’s important to continue with splint therapy: The aim of night guard appliances is to protect the teeth from further damage and also to change the bite in order to break the destructive cycle of clenching or grinding. I will liaise with your dentist in order to construct one of these rehab splints.

The Downtime?

Mild tenderness on chewing for a couple of days

What can go wrong?

The drug can inadvertently affect a small muscle called the Risorious that may restrict or cause slight asymmetry of the smile.

Small dips or bulges in the Masseter muscle are possible but can often be rectified.

Price of Treatment




Anatomy of the Head image Designed and Sculpted by Joshua Jacobo and Eric Wilson of New Masters Academy