Botox works by blocking nerve signals from reaching the muscle to prevent contractions. Imagine what it can do for relaxing muscles around your jaw, particularly if you grind or clench your teeth frequently.
While it is an anti-aging treatment, other applications such as bruxism treatment can be life-changing for patients struggling with this condition.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a potentially painful condition that causes you to unconsciously grind or clench your teeth.
Many patients don’t realize they have bruxism and may be made aware of it during a dentist appointment.
Your dentist might notice signs of bruxism through the following symptoms:
- Chipped teeth
- Abnormal wearing away of the enamel, resulting in sensitive teeth
- Tenderness in your jaw muscles
Other symptoms of bruxism might include:
- Tension and pain in the ears and jaw
- Locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Clicking when you open your mouth wide
- Dull headache starting at the temples
- Damage to the inside of the cheek from regular chewing
Patients with mild bruxism may not need any treatment. However, some will experience bruxism so severe and frequent that they eventually suffer from damaged teeth, headaches, jaw disorders, and other problems.
Bruxism may also be considered a sleep-related movement disorder (sleep bruxism). Those who grind or clench their teeth during sleep are at higher risk of developing other sleep disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea. These are all compelling reasons to seek treatment options.
What Causes Bruxism?
While it may be difficult to identify the causes of bruxism, oral health specialists often point out that it is most likely the result of a combination of genetic, physical, and psychological factors.
Bruxism is often related to the misalignment of teeth or a crooked bite, anxiety, stress, tension, anger, arousals during sleep, or it may be a coping mechanism during deep concentration.
It must also be clarified that TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder and bruxism are two different medical conditions. However, both can have a negative impact on the mouth’s overall proper functioning. TMJ can lead to bruxism, and bruxism can either cause or worsen TMJ.
Can Botox Help with Jaw Clenching?
Injecting Botox directly into the masseter muscle (the large muscle that is responsible for the action of chewing) relaxes it enough to inhibit the involuntary grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw.
Although Botox for jaw clenching is not a cure for bruxism, it effectively controls the condition’s uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating symptoms much better than a night guard for patients. Results tend to last 3-6 months.
Botox can also help smooth out a square jawline that may develop from hypertrophy (overuse) of the masseter muscles, helping you achieve a slimmer, more oval and youthful face.
Some patients choose this procedure for purely cosmetic purposes – not to treat a medical condition.
Botox is just one of the neuromodulators for the treatment of bruxism. There are other medications approved for neuromodulation, including Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®.
Are Botox Injections for Jaw Clenching Painful?
Because the injections for bruxism treatment are administered with an ultrafine needle, Botox is well tolerated. Some patients have likened Botox injections to the sensation of a “bug bite” or “prick.”
How Long Does Botox for Bruxism Last?
Most patients enjoy the results of their Botox injections for 3-6 months. Touch-up treatments are recommended to maintain results, but some find that regular treatment sessions “train” the muscles so they can go a bit longer between sessions over time.
Our board-certified dermatologists will customize the best treatment plan for you.
Contact our Medical Spa to Schedule Your Botox for Jaw Clenching Treatment
At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, our board-certified dermatologists are national Botox trainers who are considered top experts in their field. Our medical spa’s experience with Botox is unmatched, as we have conducted and continue to conduct many clinical trials involving this versatile injectable.
We were involved in the original FDA approval research programs almost 20 years ago and became one of the first practices in the country to use Botox.
Free yourself from the pain and misery of jaw clenching, as well as the routine of wearing a bite guard while you sleep with the help of Botox. To learn more about Botox for bruxism, contact our medical spa today.