Botox and Bruxism

While Botox has long been used for treating wrinkles, a new off-label application is surfacing as professionals have discovered Botox to be a viable solution for bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding), and significantly save your mouth from damage, as well as prevent the painful side effects that come with teeth grinding such as headaches, and an enflamed jaw joint or TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

Current treatment options for teeth grinding involve the use of behavioral therapy, orthodontic devices, such as mouth guards, and medications that increase sedation during sleep or reduce inflammation of the jaw. While conventional treatments such as these can successfully protect teeth from damage, they don’t address the side effects that come along with bruxism. Common problem associated with the activity include jaw soreness, headache, earaches, facial pain and migraines.

Botox is proving to be an ideal treatment option because it works to weaken the targeted muscle areas enough to stop involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Injections are focused enough that the treatment doesn’t affect voluntary movements like chewing, facial expressions, and talking.

A study conducted with a group of 22 people suffering from bruxism administered Botox to 13 patients, while 9 received a placebo injection. Over the span of a month, the group that received Botox injections reported less pain and fewer symptoms associated with teeth grinding. The 9 that received the placebo injection reported no change.

Although it can be difficult to assess the severity of the condition for those who suffer from bruxism, it is important to address the issue as it can sometimes indicate other complications with the mouth and jaw. In some cases, bruxism may be a symptom of TMJ disorder, and vice versa, TMJ disorder may indicate bruxism. My Dentist in Plano understands the debilitating effects of both TMJ disorder and bruxism, and works to pinpoint the cause of symptoms and assess treatments to effectively and comfortably treat their patients.

If you or someone you know is experiencing discomfort with bruxism or TMJ disorder, contact My Dentist in Plano at 972-378-7039, or email at [email protected] to set up an appointment.

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