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TMD, TMJ & Bruxism Los Angeles, CA


Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TJD) is the medical term used for bruxism or teeth grinding. The symptoms of teeth grinding or teeth clenching arise from how we handle feelings of stress in our everyday lives.

Individuals who clench or grind their teeth during the day often do not notice that they are doing it. The habit is even more uncontrollable at night while sufferers are asleep.


Bruxism tends to run in families and is a very debilitating condition. The constant clenching and grinding wears down teeth and can cause them to chip or break. When individuals clench or grind their teeth, they are flexing and contracting their masseter muscle, which is the main muscle used for chewing.

The over-contractions of the masseter muscle causes headaches, earaches, facial pain, and muscle growth. Sufferers of bruxism often notice that their jaws appear squarer and larger than before they started clenching or grinding.


Traditional treatments of bruxism include wearing a bite block or mouth guard at night to stop the teeth from contacting each other. However, many people find the bite blocks uncomfortable and end up spitting it out in their sleep. For those who manage to keep it in, they still awaken with jaw soreness.

This is because the bite block cannot prevent the clenching and grinding motion. It only acts as a barrier between your top and bottom rows of teeth.

As such, people who invest in bite blocks often have to replace them every few months after they wear down the material from grinding. In addition, bite blocks can only be worn at night. Daytime use would not be plausible or comfortable.

Bruxism can also occur as a result of an unaligned bite. In these instances, jaw surgery is an option. However, jaw surgery is invasive and requires the realigning of the jaw and a long recovery process. Unless the misalignment and resultant bruxism is extremely severe, surgery is not an ideal treatment option.


At RIVKIN Aesthetics, Dr. Alexander Rivkin was one of the doctors who pioneered a revolutionary treatment for bruxism. Dr. Rivkin has been successfully using Botox injections to calm the muscles and treat bruxism for over twelve years.

He has treated thousands of teeth grinding patients. In the treatment of bruxism, Botox is injected into the masseter muscle to partially weaken it. Chewing and smiling are not affected.

The treatment alleviates the tension and stress on the muscle, thereby reducing pain. Over time, if the muscle stays weak, it shrinks in size and makes the jaw look less prominent.

Patients notice that as their jaw shrinks, they look younger because an oval shape to the face looks younger and softer than the square, angular shape conferred by a large masseters muscle.