Why Is It So Bad?
Bruxism is the habit of unconsciously grinding the teeth. This usually occurs at night when the patient is asleep, but can also occur during the day.
Excessive teeth grinding wears away the enamel of the teeth and exposes the underlying dentine, which leads to a host of dental issues. It can also lead to abnormal functioning of the joints of the jaw, otherwise known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorders). Lastly prolonged clenching of the jaw is often a major cause of tension headaches.
How Can We Treat It?
Since the vast majority of Bruxism patients grind their teeth and clench their jaws unconsciously, treatments must address the condition with this important piece of information in mind. Contrary to popular belief, many people diagnosed with TMD(temporomandibular disease) and tension headaches are those who clench their jaw not only at nighttime, but during the daytime as well. Since it is unrealistic to assume that most of these individuals will wear a mouth guard 24/7, Botox is widely considered the best solution.
How Does It Work?
Botox is a muscle relaxant. We inject a small amount into the muscles which are most active in grinding. The muscle will still be able to move but won’t contract as strongly as before. This means that the treatment will not affect your speech or ability to eat, nor will it affect your facial expressions in any way, but you will notice a marked improvement in grinding symptoms.
Botox is very safe and only affects the muscles targeted, and won’t affect any other system or function in the body.
The treatment takes only 20 minutes and is virtually painless.
You should be able to see the effect after two weeks and it lasts for up to 6 months. One or two treatments are usually enough to break the habit of grinding.
What Symptoms Does It Alleviate?
Although dental devices (i.e. mouth guards) and anti-inflammatory medication can reduce the pain associated with jaw clenching, doctors have found these treatments to be ineffective when it comes to targeting the source. On the other hand, the routine systemic pain medications that are normally prescribed to help with the treatment of tension headaches, usually have multiple harmful side effects. Botox treatment in comparison is definitely a more desirable choice that can drastically improve the quality of life.
At the same time, BOTOX can be injected into frontal, temporal and other muscles on the craniofacial complex to relieve the symptoms of headache by relaxing the tensed muscles.
Patients often also benefit from the side effect of BOTOX treatment, which is the diminished appearance of wrinkles and a slimmer jawline.
Excerpts of the article written by the City Oasis Dental Blog have been used
*Disclaimer: This article is not meant to advertise any particular cosmetic product, but is for informational purposes only