How do I weaken strong masseter muscles that cause severe TMJ pain?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Jaclyn Toh

"Dentist with an interest in comprehensive dentistry."

Hyperactive masseter muscles can be a sign of night-time bruxism (grinding of the teeth).


There are 2 strategies that are generally used to shrink the muscles and reduce muscle activity:

  1. Placement of neurotoxin into the masseters

    Botox can be injected into the masseters to weaken the muscles. However, this requires repeated treatment since you will continue to use these muscles in chewing.

    Large muscles, like the masseter, will tend to require more units of neurotoxin.

  2. Use of a bite guard

    A bite guard that only covers the front teeth can reduce jaw muscle activation, including in the temporalis and masseter muscles. There are several types of bite guards in this design, including the Kois deprogrammer or MCI.

    You will need to be screened by your dentist for the potential for jaw joint changes prior to having this bite guard made.

    A bite guard is worn at night and can complement Botox.

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