Botox for Teeth GrindingDate: March 2, 2022
As a Botox practitioner, whether you solely work in aesthetics or if you are a dentist with Botox qualifications, you should have knowledge of a wide range of ailments that Botox can treat. This means that you can offer more to your clients and therefore earn more custom.
Most people are under the impression that Botulinum toxin is a purely aesthetic medicine. However, this is not exactly the case as Botox can also be used in creative ways to deal with some undesirable medical issues.
Read on for information on how Botox can be useful for more than just aesthetics by being able to treat bruxism, also known as teeth grinding.
Can Botox stop teeth grinding?
Yes, Botox can be used to stop teeth grinding.
People grind, clench, and gnash their teeth together frequently as a result of emotional stimuli, and people with bruxism will find that they do this unconsciously. After doing this for a prolonged period of time, potentially even grinding their teeth during sleep without knowing about it, an individual with bruxism will have begun to damage their teeth and may also be frequently experiencing headaches and discomfort in the mouth, throat, and jaw.
The reason that Botox for bruxism works effectively is because of its muscle relaxing properties. The masseter muscle is one of the muscles that controls the closing of the jaw, specifically the mandible (lower jaw). Injecting Botox into this muscle causes it to relax by blocking signals between the muscle and the surrounding nerves. After treatment, the muscle is weaker and is temporarily unable to unconsciously contract the teeth together.
Is Botox for bruxism safe?
Botulinum toxin is a highly safe prescription medicine. When used to treat bruxism, this does not change.
There are very few Botox for teeth grinding side effects which would make it an unsafe method of treating grinding teeth.
After treatment, the patient will still be able to speak, drink, and eat as normal. Although they may temporarily experience minor pain, bruising, and swelling around the injection site.
A downside in using Botox to treat grinding teeth is that the results are not instantaneous. It may take a week or two for the effects of the Botox to fully kick in. During this time, the patient may need to continue treating their bruxism however they were before receiving Botox, for example with a gumshield overnight.
Overall, Botox is a very safe prescription only medicine and doctors keep up to date on any issues that may present themselves with applications of the toxin such as is the case with Botox and COVID vaccines.
Before and after masseter muscle Botox
Before receiving a Botox injection to relax your masseter muscle, the patient may be experiencing pain around their lower jaw. This can include their teeth, gums, face, and neck. If they were to avoid getting treatment then their problems will only worsen and there can be very harmful results.
Because the repeated clenching of the teeth causes friction, the protective enamel will be worn away from their teeth. This reveals the sensitive inner part of the teeth which can make it painful to eat or drink. This is on top of the obvious aesthetic issues that come with teeth grinding, because it will damage the appearance of the teeth and make them appear chipped or flat and worn down.
Another undesirable effect of bruxism is the exercise and hypertrophy of the masseter muscle. The patient will have a very strong masseter muscle due to its excessive use and it will therefore change the shape of their face and affect their appearance. It will make their jaw appear squarer and masculine.
If a patient were to receive treatment for their bruxism early enough then these problems can be avoided.
After receiving treatment, the patient will initially need to carry on their current method of mitigating the effects of their bruxism while the Botox settles in for a week or two. Once the Botox settles and the masseter muscle is relaxed, the patient will find that they are not grinding their teeth anymore and will see a decrease in pain and aches associated with this.
The masseter muscle will be used less and will reduce in size. This will give the impression that the patient’s face is more natural and round rather than square and large, often the more desirable option.
As Botox lasts for between three and six months after the initial dose, the patient will need to top up their Botox as required. The more repeat injections that they receive however, the less frequent they will need to occur.
Other uses for jaw Botox
There are other health problems that can be treated by injecting Botox into the area around the jaw and with masseter Botox.
For example, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a disorder that affects the joints between the jaw and the skull. People with TMJ will often experience headaches, soreness, swelling, and pain in the face, neck, and shoulders – similar to the effects of bruxism.
By relaxing the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint, the disorder can be remedied and the patient will find that their symptoms disappear.
Discover more uses of Botox at the Dr Hennessy Academy
Being able to help your patients not only with their aesthetics but also with their actual physical health should be a top priority of yours. By learning about alternative but effective uses of your tools, you can become more knowledgeable and a more useful service provider.