Recent research suggests Botox for teeth decreases bone density in the jaw. More on this can be found here: https://sentinelmouthguards.com/botox-teeth-grinding-not-good-idea/
Botox for Teeth Grinding and TMJ
Botox injections for teeth grinding – or bruxism, the unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth that takes place during the night (or 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 or worn teeth
• Higher cases of root canal
• Grinding noise and problems when eating
• Swollen gums, or retreated gums without having a gum disease
• 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 an enlarged masseter muscle which makes the jaw look bigger (think Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story)
The pressure on your teeth during grinding can be a significant amount more than the force you use during normal biting and chewing during the day (it can 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 nerve signals to the muscles, thus relaxing them.
Botox is a relatively new treatment method that is provided to patients, correcting their underlying problem: forcefully contracting their muscles.
It is normally injected into three of the major muscles that cause teeth grinding; temporalis, 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 1 or 2 weeks after the injection. A Botox injection is then effective in this case for 4 to 6 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 altogether.
Teeth grinding occurs due to clenched jaw muscles. This is what Botox lessens; the ability of your muscles to clench tightly, thus decreasing the amount of grinding that can occur.
Where do the Botox 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 in the 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 decrease the strength of the muscles as well as reduce the size of the masseter muscle; possibly resulting in a more narrow jaw-line.
The masseter muscle is often injected with 25 to 35 units of Botox, but the number of 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 in size.
“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 the qualifications of practicing professionals. A typical average is $200-$300 per session.
The Benefits of Botox treatment
• No need for expensive or invasive surgery
• A great deal of pain relief
• The process presents minimal side effects
• It leads to a thinner, as well as more attractive jaw-line
• The procedure is minimally invasive. You can be treated over your lunch break!
The Disadvantages of Botox treatment
Although it is highly effective, Botox treatment has the following disadvantages:
• It does not last long (4 to 6 months)
• There is a chance of getting bruising, especially if you are injected around the mouth
• Each patient has a unique dosage – dosage needs to be customized according to your anatomy.
A Final Note:
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 Botox.
The verdict so far has been favorable among 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.