Though perhaps more known for its ability to reduce lines and wrinkles, Botox is also an effective treatment for bruxism and teeth grinding.
While still a relatively new treatment, recent studies have proven the effectiveness of Botox for treating bruxism. So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this treatment!
What is Bruxism?
If you’re unsure whether or not you suffer from bruxism, consider whether you have any of these symptoms: waking up with a sore jaw or teeth, finding yourself grinding or clenching your teeth without noticing, worn tooth enamel, tired jaw muscles, or a constant dull headache that originates in your temples.
Though mild bruxism does not necessarily require treatment, and some of the symptoms may be more manageable than others, more severe cases of bruxism and teeth grinding may require patients to use mouth guards to prevent bruxism while sleeping, or even receive regular Botox injections in order to ensure long-lasting relief from headaches, jaw soreness, and the other effects of bruxism. Thankfully, the range of treatment options means that you have some choice when it comes to determine the right course of action for dealing with your bruxism and teeth grinding.
How Can Botox Help?
For patients with bruxism, Botox is injected into the masseter and/or the temoporalis muscles of the jaw. One medical study of this treatment found that those patients treated with Botox experienced a significant reduction in pain and teeth grinding when compared to those patients taking the placebo. Botox is able to achieve these results by acting as a paralytic within the muscles of the jaw, thereby making it difficult for an individual to clench or grind their teeth.
What Does the Botox Treatment Entail?
Those patients opting to receive Botox injections to treat their bruxism and teeth grinding should plan to undergo continual treatment session in order to see the desired results: this is because the amount of Botox injected must be gradually increased over time. For instance, a doctor may begin treatment by injecting 15-20 units into each masseter muscle, gradually increasing to anywhere between 30-50 units per muscle, depending on the muscle’s strength. While the results may begin to show in as little as a week, you may need to wait three weeks before seeing the desire effect. The injections can be effective for up to four months, at which point you may begin to notice your bruxism and teeth grinding starting up again. When this happens, it’s time for another round of injections!
Side Effects of Botox for Bruxism
As with any medical treatment, there are a few side effects some patients may experience when using Botox to treat their bruxism and teeth grinding. There may be some initial bruising, swelling, or soreness at the point of injection, but this should wear off within a few days. You may also experience headache, nausea, and difficulty swallowing or talking (as the injections affect the jaw area). If these side effects persist for more than a few days, or if you begin to feel muscle soreness or tension in places other than the jaw muscles, talk to your doctor immediately.
If this treatment sounds like it could work for you, be sure to talk to your doctor or medical professional and also check if you this treatment is covered by your insurance, and from there determine an appropriate treatment plan designed around your personal needs and symptoms. Botox can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as natural remedies, specially designed exercises, and mouth guards, make sure to discuss your intended course of action with your doctor.
We hope this introduction to Botox as a treatment for bruxism and teeth grinding has been helpful and informative. You can continue reading about both medical and natural treatments for bruxism on this website!