Teeth grinding, medically referred to as Bruxism, can cause extensive tooth wear. In severe cases, it can also damage dental restorations like fillings and crowns. Bruxism, a condition described as the unconscious and excessive clenching of the jaw and/or excessive grinding of teeth especially when asleep, is believed to affect between 8 and 31 percent of the population.
The exact causes of teeth grinding at night are not known, though studies have connected several factors with the condition, including anxiety, daytime stress, loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, smoking, caffeine, heavy alcohol use, and certain antidepressant drugs. Common symptoms associated with teeth grinding include headaches, hypersensitive teeth, and aching jaw muscles. It may also cause other minimal symptoms, making it difficult for some to realize that they have the condition.
Treatment Options for Bruxism
For most patients, teeth grinding is usually a habit or temporary condition that can be easily fixed by wearing a night guard and addressing the cause – stress, anxiety, etc. But those in relationships may not find protective night guards as a glamorous or romantic solution, even if they help your partner sleep better. In such cases, Botox injections can be a good option.
How Botox Treats Teeth Grinding
The American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) has proven Botox to be a suitable treatment option for targeting and treating spasticity and excessive muscle activity. Many alternative treatments, like dental devices and anti-inflammatory medications, do not address the actual source of the problem. While dental appliances can successfully safeguard teeth from damage when sleeping, they do not stop the painful side effects of bruxism.
Directly injecting small doses of Botox into the large muscle that supports jaw movements weakens it sufficiently to stop involuntary clenching or grinding. This considerably relaxes the muscle, stops pain, and minimizes wear and tear on the teeth caused by bruxism.
Botox treatment also reduces or eliminates associated headaches and damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Botox does not interfere with voluntary jaw movements, such as talking, chewing, or facial expressions. However, you are required to get at least three repeat injections every six months to maintain the results. A good number of people enjoy long-term results after only three treatments, though the results partly depend on your lifestyle.
The pressure exerted on your teeth during grinding can be up to 20 times greater than that of normal biting and chewing. Consequently, the incisors can shorten and form sharp edges and small chip marks, while the canines can become covered in notches. At the same time, affected teeth can loosen and any fillings gouged out.
For most patients, a Botox treatment, or series of treatments, for teeth grinding helps to break the pattern and gives them enough time to manage the event that triggered bruxism – anxiety, stress, sleep apnea, etc.
Dr. Golshani offers Botox treatment in Beverly Hills. Botox is used for many applications. If you are interested in Botox treatment, then please call our office @ (310) 274-3481 to speak with a Botox specialist.