Using Botox As A Treatment For Grinding Teeth. Is It Right For You?
Teeth grinding or jaw clenching is a dental condition that affects between 8% and 10% of the world’s adult population. The condition is known as bruxism in the dental profession. It is an involuntary behaviour which often happens while you’re asleep. There are various causes. The condition’s impact can vary from being an annoyance to severe jaw pain, headaches, tooth enamel wear, or chipped teeth. Doctors can offer various treatments which include behaviour change, stress management or medication. However, there’s another treatment that may seem unorthodox but is proven to be effective at resolving the condition. Botox!
Does Botox Really Work For Teeth Grinding?
Most people know of Botox, or botulinum toxin, as an acceptable solution for eliminating wrinkles or plumping up thin lips. Not so widely known is the use of Botox’s muscle-relaxing properties to stop jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Studies and research are providing more evidence pointing to the effectiveness of Botox in treating bruxism.
Botox paralyses muscles temporarily, making it useful in managing and treating cosmetic conditions, including teeth clenching.
How Does Botox Treatment For Bruxism Work?
The jaw clenching treatment with Botox involves injecting a small amount into the muscle that moves the jaw. This muscle is known as the masseter muscle and is responsible for chewing. You may also receive injections into the frontalis and temporalis muscles, depending on your specific needs.
Botox may have a double effect when used to treat bruxism. Firstly, it will relax the muscles responsible for jaw clenching to reduce the pressure. Secondly, if you were experiencing any tension aches in your jaw, these will also decrease in intensity or stop outright.
You will see the full effects within three days following the treatment, although it may take as long as two weeks. The results should last at least three months and possibly as long as six months. The body breaks down the toxin over time, so Botox is not a permanent treatment.
What Are Some Of The Side Effects Of Using Botox For Bruxism?
Botox is a safe product, even more so when injected by an experienced medical professional. Nevertheless, you should be aware of a handful of potential short-term side effects before going ahead with Botox treatment. They are as follows:
- Swelling, bruising or pain at the injection site.
- Flu-like symptoms, including a headache.
- Droopy eyelid.
- Drooling or crooked smile
- Excessive tearing or eye dryness.
It is a very rare occurrence, but the Botox may spread away from the intended area to other parts of your body. This is likely due to an inferior injection technique or a genuine mistake during the treatment. If you suspect this is happening following treatment with Botox, you must contact your doctor immediately. Signs to watch out for include:
- Muscle weakening.
- Vision and eyesight problems.
- Slurred speech or difficulties swallowing.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Loss of bladder control.
If you’re struggling with teeth grinding or jaw clenching, it’s advisable to discuss treatment options with your dentist or doctor. If you are referred to an oral maxillofacial specialist, they may offer treatment alternatives to Botox, including corrective surgery, if appropriate.
What Alternative Treatments Are There For Teeth Grinding?
The right treatment for bruxism is likely to vary from person to person. As with many things, the cause of the problem will dictate what treatments you can use to resolve it. For individuals who tend to grind their teeth while asleep, a mouthguard may be a better solution to the issue. A mouthguard can help reduce the tension in your jaw as well as helping to prevent enamel erosion.
If your teeth grinding and jaw clenching come and go, then they may be related to stress. Learn to manage the stress in your life and you may stop these problems from arising in the first place.
Is Botox Treatment For Bruxism Appropriate For You?
Bruxism is a common condition, one which people sometimes feel they cannot control. Its effects include jaw pain and damage to your teeth’s enamel which can often be stressful. However, there are several treatments available that can help you. Botox is quickly becoming one of the most recommended treatments for bruxism.
You can also make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, managing stress and eating a balanced diet. All these factors can contribute to relieving tension in your jaw. However, if these measures are doing little to loosen your clenching jaws, be sure to see your doctor to discuss what Botox can do for you.
Vinci Aesthetics offer Botox injections for a variety of aesthetic conditions, including bruxism. If you’re struggling with teeth grinding and would like to know more about Botox, give us a call to book a free consultation today.