Botox® For Teeth Grinding Bruxism is the medical term given to the unconscious clenching, shifting, or grinding of the teeth and jaws. More severe cases of bruxism can result in pain, injury, or damage to the teeth and jaws. While traditional treatments, such as medications or mouth guards, for bruxism do exist, patients with severe cases may not find relief from these regimens. For patients who do not experience any relief from bruxism with traditional treatments, Botox® injections may be an appropriate alternative or an additional therapy
Side effects of teeth grinding may include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum recession
- Loss of tooth enamel
- Flattening of teeth
- Chipped teeth
- bone loss that leads to tooth mobility
- TMJ disorders (Temporomandibular joint disorders)
- Migraines/ tension headaches
- Jaw misalignment, facial asymmetry
- Facial pain or jaw discomfort at rest or while eating
- Jaw soreness
- Masseter muscle enlargement
How can Botox® injections help teeth grinding?
Medical studies have shown that Botox® for bruxism can help reduce unconscious teeth grinding and treat painful symptoms of jaw clenching. In addition to helping treat the cause of teeth grinding, Botox® often helps to reduce the severity of unpleasant side effects that result from teeth grinding, including migraines, facial pains, jaw discomfort, masseter muscle hypertrophy, and more.
When compared to traditional treatments, Botox® may be advantageous because it addresses the source of bruxism and helps reduce the frequency and severity of teeth grinding. By temporarily weakening the muscle.
Conventional teeth grinding treatments include prescription medications and mouth guards. While medication is effective in some patients, it may not provide any relief for other patients. On the other hand, mouth guards are effective at reducing dental damage but fail to reduce uncomfortable side effects like jaw pain or migraines.
Botox® for teeth grinding may help:
- Reduce severity and frequency of teeth grinding
- Treat migraines and headaches
- Relax the masseter and temporal muscles
- Reduce tooth enamel erosion
- Prevent additional tooth damage
- Restore proper jaw functionality
- Treat masseter muscle hypertrophy
- Decrease facial pain and discomfort
Do I need additional Botox® injections for teeth grinding?
Botox® is an effective treatment for jaw clenching and teeth grinding, but its effects are temporary. Similar to cosmetic injections for wrinkles, regular appointments are necessary. After receiving jaw Botox® injections, many patients experience a relief of symptoms for 3-6 months. At this point, additional Botox® treatments for teeth grinding are necessary to maintain these results. Each patient’s case of teeth grinding is different. Dr. Anwar can help determine the quantity and frequency of Botox® treatments for the best results possible.
What does the Botox injection procedure entail?
A consultation appointment is scheduled with Dr. Sara Anwar to determine the severity of the muscle tension and bruxism. Dr. Sara will decide how many units you will need and which muscles to be injected. The procedure appointment will take only 15 minutes. By injecting small doses of Botox directly into the masseter muscle (the large muscle that moves the jaw) extra orally, the injection time takes only a few seconds. You may resume regular activity immediately after the appointment. the muscle is weakened enough to stop involuntary grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. This significantly relaxes the muscle and reduces the wear and tear on the teeth due to grinding. Damage to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and headaches should be reduced or eliminated as well. This procedure is relatively painless with a numbing cream applied to the skin before the small injections are administered. Voluntary movements, such as chewing and facial expressions, are not affected at all by Botox. On the long term, severe muscle contraction can cause the cheek muscle to be firm and squared, when doing the regular Botox treatments, the muscle should be restored to its natural state, often times slimming the jaw line to a softer look.
What are the aftercare instructions?
Generally, you may resume activity immediately after treatment however we recommend that you avoid a few things for optimal results;
1. Avoid heavy lifting, straining, vigorous exercise, laying down or manipulation of the injected area for 4 hours post treatment.
2. It can take anywhere between 2-10 days for Botox to have a full effect.
3. Do not schedule any important events for 2 weeks after treatment in case you have bruising or any of the mentioned side effects.