How Botox Can Treat Bruxism
Botox has more uses than smoothing wrinkles from a person's skin. In fact, it's muscle relaxing properties can be extremely helpful in solving a common teeth grinding issue called bruxism. In this article we will discuss how botox can treat bruxism and if this may be a suitable solution for you.
You Could Suffer From Bruxism!
In it's simplest terms, bruxism is the involuntary habitual grinding of the teeth. The nature of bruxism is so that some do not even realise they are suffering from it as it often occurs during a persons sleep. There are various causes of bruxism but most originate from stress. The consequences of your grinding habits can be damaged or cracked teeth, pain in the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and the squaring of the jaw due to a growth in the size of the jaw muscles from their overuse.
The Power of the Jaw Muscle
The jaw muscle can put extensive pressure on the teeth whilst grinding. Especially whilst you are sleeping as there is no way that you can intervene the process. In fact, if you suffer from sleep bruxism then your jaw muscles could be exerting pressure up to 20 times as strong as that of when you chew food. This pressure is due to the strength of the jaw muscles and can leave you in some discomfort as the muscles become tired and painful during everyday use. It is often easy to spot someone who is suffering from bruxism as they will have enlarged jaw muscles. The repetitive use of these muscles in grinding causes them to build up in size and strength.
Botox For Bruxism
Botox works by blocking the signals sent out between the nerves and the muscles. When botox is injected into a muscle, it means that the muscle can no longer contract. When used on the skin, this causes wrinkles to relax and soften out. The same principle can be used with the jaw muscles. By injecting some botox into the TMJ, the muscle can no longer contract to the same strength as it previously could. This means that when you start involuntarily grinding your teeth during the night your teeth will be under much less pressure. In time, the jaw muscles will lose some of their size and your face will return to a normal shape. Now that the jaw muscle is working much less vigorously, your teeth grinding will subside.
How Long Will the Results Last?
The effects of botox on relaxing the muscles can typically last anywhere between 3 and 6 months. This may be enough time for you solve your bruxism issues altogether. However if your bruxism issues start to arise again after this period then it is simple for you to get a top up treatment in order to keep your bruxism in check.
Is This a Common Treatment for Bruxism?
Yes, this has been offered in the cosmetic and dental industry for years as a treatment for bruxism.Other methods for treatment aim to tackle the very root of the issue which will often revolve around some form of stress management. The downside to this is the long time that it can take to resolve your bruxism. In the time it takes your teeth may be further damaged this creating further problems with your teeth. A better option would be to use a combination of the two forms forms of treatment. You can be given a course of botox treatment in order to instantly relieve the pain and take the pressure off your jaws and teeth. After this you can go through measures to manage the root cause of your bruxism. This may be stress management or something similar. Many patients take this approach and find it to work incredibly well.
What Are the Alternative Treatments for Bruxism?
There are a few different alternative treatments for bruxism. Some aim to stop the effects and some aim to hit bruxism at it's centre. As mentioned above, a combination of the two is the ideal solution.
Mouth Guards and Splints to Treat Bruxism
If you are a person with sleep bruxism (you grind your teeth whilst you sleep) then some form of mouth guard or splint could be ideal for you. Here at Bamboo Dental we offer a popular type of dental splint called the SCi Appliance. This is created specifically for your teeth and will sit over the teeth providing a shield against the effects of bruxism. Similar to using botox, dental splints are only able to control bruxism - not cure it altogether.
Who Can Provide Botox Treatment?
Many dentists now offer botox treatment and are some of the most experienced at performing the treatment. Bamboo Dental in Cardiff have a second arm to the dental practice called Bamboo Aesthetics. We offer several facial aesthetics and cosmetic treatments. If you wish to get in touch about these treatments please feel free to check out our botox information page.