Bruxism is a dental condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep, which can cause damage to the teeth and jawbone.
People who grind their teeth (brux) while sleeping are more prone to experience other sleep problems like snoring and breathing interruptions (sleep apnea). Bruxism may also be caused by stress or anxiety, but it usually occurs when a person's muscles are relaxed during sleep.
Bruxism is most commonly caused by:
Injecting small doses of Botox into the masseter muscle blocks the nerve signals from reaching your muscle cells, causing them to relax temporarily. This temporary relaxation helps you sleep better without grinding or clenching your teeth.
Botulinum toxin is a natural toxin that impairs the masseter muscles when injected in modest amounts. When injected by a skilled practitioner, it is entirely safe and effective, but it may take 2-3 months before you see results.
The amount of Botox required to treat bruxism depends on the severity of your condition and other factors, such as:
Botox can help you sleep better by releasing jaw tension and reducing the pain caused by bruxism. It is also safe and effective, with only a few short-term side effects. Other benefits of treating bruxism with Botox include:
The treatment takes 10 to 14 days to work. Your dentist may require a check-up after 2 to 4 weeks if you are new to the treatment. This is to ensure that the dosage is correct and that the treatment is effective.
Bruxism has no permanent solution. However, Botox injections in the jaw muscles (masseter muscle), mouth guards, and medication can help mitigate the symptoms. Note that mouth guards may help prevent tooth damage but will not stop the grinding and clenching.
Botox injections in the masseter for clenching and grinding teeth may produce a few short-term effects. One immediate side effect is a slightly "lopsided smile," which fades after a few weeks. You may also experience fatigue for a few days.
Other temporary side effects include:
In very rare instances, Botox may spread in your body resulting in:
Get medical help if you notice any of the above-listed symptoms within hours or weeks after the injection. Make sure to discuss all the treatment options with your dentist before choosing Botox for bruxism.
At Smile Arizona Dentistry, we have been serving the local Arizonian communities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix, with all their advanced dental care needs. Our Botox and facial esthetics solutions can help correct various dental concerns, including bruxism. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
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