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Botox for Bruxism - Fix Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Jun 29, 2022

Dental Care

Botox for Bruxism - Fix Teeth Grinding and Clenching

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.

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism is most commonly caused by:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Sleep apnea
  • Jaw muscle weakness caused by injury, stroke, arthritis, or other medical conditions
  • Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and taking drugs like cocaine

How does Botox work to address bruxism?

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.

How many units of Botox are needed to treat bruxism?

The amount of Botox required to treat bruxism depends on the severity of your condition and other factors, such as:

  • Your age and overall health
  • How long you have had bruxism
  • How severe your symptoms are, including pain or damage to your teeth and jawbone

Benefits of treating bruxism with Botox

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:

  • Non-invasive with no down-time so you can continue with your daily activities
  • Affordable for the majority, (Sometimes insurance can help cover the cost or partially cover some cost)
  • Slims the appearance of a wide jaw and balances the face
  • Eliminates headaches originating from the jaw area

How long can it take for Botox to work on your jaw?

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.

What is the best way to stop clenching and grinding your teeth?

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.

Are there any known side effects of masseter Botox?

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:

  • Swelling, pain, or bruising at the site injected
  • Headache or other flu-like symptoms
  • Eye dryness or excessive tearing

In very rare instances, Botox may spread in your body resulting in:

  • Breathing problems
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking

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.

We Are Here to Help You!

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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