Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

How Botox Can Stop You From Grinding Your Teeth Together

Bruxism can be an extremely distressing condition. Your teeth grind into each other, damaging their surfaces in the process, and often leading to ongoing toothaches. Additionally, your jaw muscles can become strained and sore from the repetitive grinding movements. What's more, is that most instances of bruxism are nocturnal. It happens while you sleep, so you're unaware that it's even happening, and can feel powerless to stop it. Sometimes the most effective solution to bruxism is one that often has a cosmetic purpose.

Cosmetic Applications

Botox is perhaps best known for its cosmetic applications—injected into facial muscles to relax them, thereby smoothing the overlying skin. But Botox has a range of medical applications, and this includes significant relief for patients who suffer from bruxism.

Protecting Your Teeth

As part of bruxism treatment, your dentist will need to protect your teeth. This involves a night guard, which is a comfortable retainer designed to be worn while you sleep. It creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, preventing tooth contact, which subsequently prevents damage. The next step involves stopping the excessive movement of your jaws that's causing your teeth to grind into each other.

Clinical and Cosmetic

This next step involves Botox. Dentists are fully-qualified to administer Botox for clinical and cosmetic purposes. If you want clinical Botox to relieve the symptoms of your bruxism, your dentist can help. If you want cosmetic Botox to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, this can also be achieved at a dental clinic. For bruxism, a specific group of muscles is targeted for injection. 

Muscles of Mastication 

Botox is injected through your cheek into your primary muscles of mastication (chewing). Although these muscles then experience a form of paralysis, this doesn't render them unusable. Botox will not prevent you from chewing, nor will it prevent any other normal jaw movement. As the injection takes effect, your muscles of mastication will feel less strained, but the real benefits of Botox for bruxism are overnight.

Overnight Relief

The injection will prevent involuntary overnight clenching of your jaw, so your teeth won't be regularly (and forcefully) ground into each other. Botox relieves pressure on these muscles so that they no longer make the involuntary movements causing you so much trouble. The effects are not permanent, and periodic injections are required to maintain your results

If you're regularly experiencing a sore, strained jaw in the morning accompanied by ongoing toothaches, you could be dealing with bruxism each night without even knowing it. A night guard will offer some much-needed protection for your teeth, but to relieve the strain on your jaw, consider discussing Botox with your dentist.