Recent research suggests Botox for teeth decreases bone density in jaw. More on this can be found here: https://sentinelmouthguards.com/botox-teeth-grinding-not-good-idea/
Botox for Teeth Grinding and TMJ
Teeth grinding, aka bruxism, the unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth that takes place during the night (while you are asleep) has been a fairly recent and seemingly successful alternative therapy for persons suffering from teeth grinding at night.
Bruxism affects an estimated 1 in 12 adults and has the following symptoms:
• Severely chipped teeth or worn teeth
• Higher cases of root canal
• Grinding noise and problems when eating
• Retreated gums in the absence of any gum disease/ swollen gums
• Sore jaw muscles especially in the morning
• Damaged tongue or chewed inner area of the cheek
• Facial pain
• A face that appears shortened between the chin and nose and/or enlarged masseter muscle which can enlarge the jaw (think Buzz Light Year)
The pressure on your teeth during grinding can be a significant amount more than the force you use during normal biting and chewing (up to 130% harder at night). Due to this, your incisors can become shorter with tiny chip marks and sharp edges, and your canines can be covered with cuts. This type of damage is a slow process but a huge expense to fix (and worth avoiding). A reality that may happen in the shorter term can include tiny fracture lines that make the teeth more susceptible to damage, loose teeth and/or loose dental work. Treatment for bruxism and TMJ has been approached with a wide range of “solutions”. The most common recommendation is the use of a custom made mouthguard. This is great for preventing any further damage and easing headaches/facial pain but what about making strides to stop it altogether? Botox injections, mostly associated with cosmetic processes and procedures, are gradually being used as a method of keeping TMJ and Bruxism under control.
How does Botox work?
Quick answer: It blocks the nerve signals to the muscles thus relaxing them.
Botox is a relatively new treatment method that is provided to patients that corrects their underlying problems, forcefully contracting their muscles. It is normally injected into three of the major muscles that cause teeth grinding, temporalis and masseter and the lateral pyterygoid muscle. It relaxes these muscles and (conceivably) prevents teeth grinding during the sleep. Botox doesn’t affect chewing, talking or eating. Most patients experience a decrease of most or all of their symptoms from Bruxism and TMJ one or 2 weeks after the injection. Botox injection is effective for four to six months. Botox, a simple and short (15-20 Minute) procedure, can prevent unnecessary teeth grinding and clenching, facilitate better quality and healthy sleep, prevent damage to the teeth, stop pain and headaches and even improve the quality of your life. Teeth grinding occurs due to clenched jaw muscles. This is what Botox lessens; the ability of your muscles to clench tightly and thus decrease the amount of grinding that can occur.
Where do the injections go?
Quick answer: Treatment areas typically include the temporalis, lateral pyterygoid and the masseter
Botox injections should be performed by qualified Botox injectors. Make sure your practitioner is highly knowledgeable of execution, aesthetics and function.
Specialists warn not to massage your jaw right after having Botox injections. Also avoid excessive chocolate, caffeine, sugar, soda and other foods that can make you feel jittery and stressed.
“Is it painful?”
Botox injections can be mildly uncomfortable. Pain thresholds vary from patient to patient but it can be equated to the feeling of a mild bug bite.
“Is it going to make my face look weird?”
The success of Botox has been determined so far in small studies only. Less than 10% of participants in these studies did notice a cosmetic change in their smile short term. Oppositely, a long term advantage to look forward to (if you have an enlarged masseter muscle due to teeth grinding or jaw clenching) is the shrinking of this muscle. This gives the face a more relaxed and natural appearance. The injections help to reduce the strength of the muscles as well as the size of the masseter muscle; this can result in a more narrow jaw-line. The masseter muscle is often injected with twenty five to thirty five units of Botox but units used does vary from patient to patient. Within a few weeks to a few months, your muscles become smaller and softer and your jaw-line decreases.
“Is Botox a permanent fix? How often do I have to repeat treatment?”
Receiving Botox is not a one time “fix-all” solution. Treatment is normally repeated after every four to six months.
How much does it cost?
The cost of receiving Botox injections spans widely depending on location, types of practicing professionals administering Botox, and qualifications of practicing professionals. A typical average is $200-$300 per session.
Other benefits include:
• There is no need for expensive or invasive surgery
• You experience a great deal of pain relief
• The process present minimal side effects
• It lead to thinner as well as more attractive jaw-line• The procedure is minimally invasive. You can be treated over your lunch break!
Disadvantage of Botox treatment
Although it is highly effective, Botox treatment has the following disadvantages:
• It does not last long – four to six months
• There is a chance of getting bruising especially if you are injected around the mouth• Each patient has a unique dosage – dosage need to be customized according to your anatomy
Can Botox Stop My Teeth Grinding?
If you have been treating your TMJ and Bruxism disorder with ordinary mouth guards as well as other measures without any effect, you should try the Botox. The verdict so far has been favorable amongst study groups tested. Most doctors agree to its benefits. To be successful, it is vital for your doctor to use the right injection technique and follow the recommended dosage guidelines.