A former shop owner who lost her business during the recession has undergone jaw surgery to treat extreme tooth grinding caused by the stress of her situation; Toni Lovell-Clarke, aged 50, ground her teeth so badly that she was unable to open her mouth or eat properly.
The problem was mild at first and occasional but it soon became much worse as Toni developed muscle dystonia – a disorder that causes repetitive muscles contractions – which caused her jaw to jam shut repeatedly. Toni had £16,000 titanium plates inserted into her jaw to stop the damage from grinding but the problems continued as the dystonia caused her jaw to dislocate. After feeding herself through a straw for four weeks following the treatment, Toni returned to hospital where surgeons decided to wire her mouth shut until the muscles healed properly.
Ms Lovell-Clarke has spoken out about her ordeal after making a full recovery, saying ‘It was without a doubt one of the worst things I have ever experienced, but I’m telling my story because I want to show my gratitude to Andrew (Sidebottom – surgeon).’ She can now eat and drink properly and she added that ‘Andrew has turned my life around, I owe him a great deal and the work he does isn’t known about – he deserves a bit of credit.’