Botox injections have been on the market for years, offering people a safe and effective way to rejuvenate their skin. However, while Botox is most commonly associated with cosmetic procedures, it also has a number of other FDA approved medical applications. In fact, Botox was originally developed in the 1980s to help combat chronic blepharospasm, or severe eye twitching. Now Botox is being used to treat bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Bruxism is when the muscles in the jaw tighten unconsciously, often during sleep. When this happens, bruxism causes severe teeth grinding. This type of teeth clenching at night is more than inconvenient. The effects of grinding teeth can actually be fairly pronounced if the bruxism is allowed to continue unchecked. Teeth clenching at night can lead to damage of the tooth enamel, flattening of the teeth and increased sensitivity. Those who experience severe teeth grinding also suffer from physical pain, including earaches, headaches, jaw tenderness and migraines.
There are other treatments for bruxism, many of which have mixed results. Most commonly, anti-inflammatories have been used to reduce facial swelling, which can minimize the muscle spasms and painful symptoms. In other cases, dental devices can be worn at night to protect teeth from ongoing damage. Unfortunately, none of these treatment options actually addresses the underlying problems that cause bruxism. This is why Botox is such a promising alternative.
When using Botox for bruxism, injections are made into the muscles affected by the condition. In most cases, severe teeth grinding is caused by contractions in the masseter muscle. Since Botox is effectively a temporary and controlled muscle relaxer, it works by targeting this muscle without affecting other muscles in the body. Now that the muscle is relaxed, it is unable to clench or spasm, which prevents teeth grinding before it starts.
Unlike conventional treatments, Botox can actually stop clenching of the jaw. This means that there is no threat of ongoing damage to the teeth, jaw or face. This not only slows down the cumulative effects of bruxism, but it also provides almost instant relief from the pain associated with the condition. Many people who use Botox for bruxism experience fewer headaches and facial pains. They also see less damage to their teeth and facial structure.
These benefits are achieved with minimal side effects. Other facial movements are not impeded by using Botox. Individuals are still able to chew and make a full range of facial expressions. A Botox treatment can provide relief for three or four months at a time.
It is important to note that Botox is not a cure for bruxism. However, it can provide promising relief from this affliction. Be sure to consult one of our certified injection specialists in Beverly Hills at Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center to see how Botox can treat your bruxism.« Back to Articles & Tips