Botox Treatment For Bruxism

Bruxism is a dental condition in which a person grinds or clenches their teeth together. Often a person suffering from bruxism is unaware as they may unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day or grind them at night, which is called sleep bruxism.

Bruxism can range from minor to severe. In some cases, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other head and neck problems. Because many people have sleep bruxism and are unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to pursue regular dental care.

Symptoms of Bruxism include:

~ Grinding or clenching

~ Teeth that are worn down, flat or chipped

~ Tooth sensitivity

~ Jaw and facial pain/tightness

~ Ear pain

~ Headaches

~Facial pain

~ Damage to the tongue or tissue inside your cheeks

The Procedure

By injecting small doses of Botox directly into the masseter muscle (the large muscle that moves the jaw), 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.  Voluntary movements, such as chewing and facial expressions, are not effected at all by botox.

Effectiveness of Botox for Bruxism

Although botox injections are not a cure for bruxism, they can effectively control the uncomfortable symptoms better than a nightguard for some patients.  New Botox injections are periodically needed to treat bruxism. Duration of one treatment can last from one month to 26 weeks, with the average being four months

Any Side Effects?

No significant side effects were seen in any of the studies. Some small temporary side effects include: soreness and bruising at the injection site, and with large dose, diffusion to superficial muscles of the face can result in a “fixed” smile for about 6 to 8 weeks.

Sleep bruxism, also known as nocturnal tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or grinding teeth during sleep. This type of movement disorder occurs during sleep is a common among adults, adolescents and children. 60% of all bruxism cases are related to underlying airway issues including sleep apnea. Occasional bruxism may not be harmful but when it becomes a regular occurrence, it may be associated with moderate to severe dental damage, facial pain, and disturbed sleep patterns.

The causes of bruxism are vast; studies have linked it with factors such as anxiety, stress, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring and daytime fatigue. The uses of certain medications are also associated with episodes of bruxism. An important link is that between sleep apnea and sleep bruxism, evidence has suggested treating sleep apnea may also alleviate sleep bruxism.

People who have sleep bruxism may also suffer from headaches, earaches, facial/jaw pain, TMJ disorder and damaged teeth. Sleep bruxism may also be linked with other medical conditions, affecting overall quality of life.

Studies have shown patients who received these injections experienced significant improvement in pain, function, ability to open their mouth and levels of tenderness to palpation.

Call us today in Franklin, TN and the surrounding cities, to schedule your consult appointment with our dentists to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment, the frequency of injections will depend on the severity of your condition.

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