Do you wake up with a sore jaw and sensitive teeth? Bruxism, commonly known as unconscious teeth clenching and grinding, can occur while you are awake or asleep. This chronic condition can cause physical pain, dental problems, headache, earaches and facial pain. The resulting loss of tooth enamel can lead to sensitivity in your teeth and even chipping or flattening.
Another concern is what is happening to the muscle in your jaw- called the masseter muscle- when you chronically clench. Hypertrophy, or excess growth of the masseter muscle, may lead to the appearance of a square jaw. These undesirable side effects of Bruxism can lead to long term problems and frustration.
Depending on the severity of one’s condition, previous treatment often included:
- Splints and mouth guards designed to keep teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding.
- Dental correction.
- Stress management.
- Behavior therapy.
- Muscle relaxants.
Is Botox the solution?
Although Botox injections will not “cure” Bruxism, they have recently been shown to be an effective treatment option for targeting and calming excessive muscle activity and spasticity. Treatments with Botulinum Toxin Type A., commonly known as Botox, can relax the jaw muscles and provide tremendous relief from jaw soreness, headaches, and other side effects associated with Bruxism. Botox treatments for Bruxism can also soften the appearance of the jaw line.
How Does it Work?
By injecting small doses of Botox directly into the masseter muscle, 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. Voluntary movements, such as chewing and facial expressions, are not effected at all by Botox.
If you are dealing with Bruxism and think Botox may be right for you, consult with your doctor.