Botox® For Teeth Grinding
NEW YORK ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
800A Fifth Avenue, Suite 404
New York, NY, 10065
MARK STEIN, D.D.S., M.D.
212.888.4760
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Botox® Injections For Bruxism

Botox® For Teeth Grinding

Bruxism (teeth grinding) is the medical term given to the unconscious clenching, shifting, or grinding of the teeth and jaws. More severe cases of bruxism can result in pain, injury, or damage to the teeth and jaws. While traditional treatments, such as medications or mouth guards, for bruxism do exist, patients with severe cases may not find relief from these regimens. For patients who do not experience any relief from bruxism with traditional treatments, Botox® injections may be an appropriate alternative.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism, more commonly referred to as jaw clenching or teeth grinding, is the involuntary grinding of the teeth. This most commonly occurs when a patient is sleeping but can also occur while a patient is awake. Common side effects of bruxism include sensitive teeth, loss of tooth enamel, flattening of the teeth, and chipped teeth. On top of causing dental damage, patients may experience migraines, facial discomfort, earaches, pain, or other symptoms. After a night of teeth grinding, many patients may also experience jaw soreness, tightness, or discomfort.

The temporal muscle and masseter muscle are the 2 main muscles that help to move the lower jaw. In more severe cases of teeth grinding, the masseter muscle may experience hypertrophy, which is when a muscle increases in size. Hypertrophy of the masseter muscles on either side of the face may cause the jawline to bulge or become severely squared.

Side effects of teeth grinding may include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • Flattening of teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Migraines
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Facial pain or jaw discomfort
  • Jaw soreness
  • Masseter muscle hypertrophy

How can Botox® injections help teeth grinding?

Medical studies have shown that Botox® for bruxism can help reduce unconscious teeth grinding and treat painful symptoms of jaw clenching. In addition to helping treat the cause of teeth grinding, Botox® often helps to reduce the severity of unpleasant side effects that result from teeth grinding, including migraines, facial pains, jaw discomfort, masseter muscle hypertrophy, and more. When compared to traditional treatments, Botox® may be advantageous because it addresses the source of bruxism and helps reduce the frequency and severity of teeth grinding.

Conventional teeth grinding treatments include prescription medications and mouth guards. While medication is effective in some patients, it may not provide any relief for other patients. On the other hand, mouth guards are effective at reducing dental damage but fail to reduce uncomfortable side effects like jaw pain or migraines.

Botox® for teeth grinding may help:

  • Reduce severity and frequency of teeth grinding
  • Treat migraines and headaches
  • Relax the masseter and temporal muscles
  • Reduce tooth enamel erosion
  • Prevent additional tooth damage
  • Restore proper jaw functionality
  • Treat masseter muscle hypertrophy
  • Decrease facial pain and discomfort

What should I expect from Botox® injections for teeth grinding?

After an evaluation with Dr. Stein, he will be able to determine if you are a proper candidate for Botox® injections for jaw clenching. While Botox® injections are an effective teeth grinding treatment, Dr. Stein may want to see how you respond to traditional treatments first before suggesting Botox®. Dr. Stein may suggest a combination of therapies including conventional occlusal splint therapy and Botox® injections.

During your procedure, Dr. Stein will inject small quantities of Botox® into the masseter muscle. Once injected into this muscle, Botox® gradually weakens the muscle slightly to help reduce involuntary activity, such as grinding or clenching. As the masseter muscle relaxes, jaw grinding and wear and tear on the teeth become less significant. Patients with other symptoms, such as migraines and jaw pain, also should experience a relief from these symptoms. While Botox® for teeth grinding weakens the masseter muscles, voluntary actions, such as chewing, talking, and facial expressions, will not be affected. The small quantities of Botox® used during a teeth grinding treatment is strong enough to reduce involuntary jaw movements but not hinder basic jaw functions.

Do I need additional Botox® injections for teeth grinding?

Botox® is an effective treatment for jaw clenching and teeth grinding, but its effects are temporary. Similar to cosmetic injections for wrinkles, regular appointments are necessary. After receiving jaw Botox® injections, many patients experience a relief of symptoms for 3-4 months. At this point, additional Botox® treatments for teeth grinding are necessary to maintain these results. Dr. Stein recommends 3-4 Botox® injections annually to treat bruxism. Each patient’s case of teeth grinding is different, and Dr. Stein can help determine the quantity and frequency of Botox® treatments for the best results possible.

How do I get started with Botox® for teeth grinding?

Dr. Stein and his staff would be happy to discuss Botox® injections for teeth clenching with you. Please call 212-888-4760 or schedule an appointment online to arrange for a private consultation at our office.


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