18th February 2020

Common Botox Questions and Answers for Bruxism Patients

Last Modified: May 26, 2023

Common Botox Questions and Answers for Bruxism Patients

Are you experiencing muscle cramps or jaw pain in or around your mouth? There's a chance you have a condition called Bruxism.

You might have a lot of questions, and this guide has the answers for Bruxism patients.

You’re finally fed up with bruxism affecting your quality of life. You’re ready to take the next steps to improve your day to day and forget about the constant aches, pains and dental concerns that come along with having an overactive jaw muscle. Here you will find common concerns, questions, and answers for bruxism patients.

Bruxism is a condition in which your masseter muscle is enlarged and prone to tightening spasms. Your masseter muscle is one of the main muscles of your jaw that helps you chew. Bruxism most often causes patients to constantly feel the aches of their jaw muscle due to clenching and grinding of the teeth.

This condition brings along many painful symptoms and side effects, each varying in degree with every individual patient. Some of the complications include but are not limited to:

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Sore jaw
  • Earaches
  • Tooth flattening/chipping
  • Loss of enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity

Will Botox Give Real Answers to Bruxism Patients?

Of course, like all medical treatments, results vary from patient to patient. Choosing to seek a professional consultation with an expert injector such as a plastic surgeon, dentist or dermatologist is the first step in figuring out your best treatment plan options. These professionals are experts in facial anatomy and make the best choice for botox treatment in such a sensitive area.

Botox will be injected directly into the problemed masseter muscle causing it to relax debilitating its strength. As you repeatedly continue this process with your doctor’s recommendations, over time the masseter muscle will reduce in size. Your results will be assessed with each visit to determine the number of units you will need with each injection. While at first, you will probably need a higher dose, this amount will decrease as the troubled muscle weakens.

You and your doctor will work together with your specific results to better know the right unit dosage you need to feel relief. Typically, treatment may take 3-5 days to begin working. It still takes a full 2 weeks after the initial injection to start noticing results. At first, you will feel the masseter muscle become more relaxed and less constricted, but visually seeing a slimming effect along your jaw could take up to 30 days after treatment.

It’s most common to continue to receive botox injections every 6 months. The reason being is, after 6 months botox will wear off and your muscle will regain strength and size unless you keep to a strict 6-month treatment plan. Once again, this may vary according to your unique treatment plan you have with your doctor.

Does Too Much Botox Result in Bone Density Loss?

One common misconception is that botox injections over time will result in loss of bone mass or density. Thus far there is no clear evidence of bone loss or density due to botox treatment. The medication is injected into masseter muscle only, not the bone.

Is Botox the Best Option for Bruxism?

Botox is known to be an expensive procedure with most costs varying from different providers however, most health insurance does cover the treatment. With the number of units, timeline, and treatment consistency all depending on the individual patient and the extent of the overactive masseter muscle, you may be asking if botox is the right choice for you.

Sometimes preventative measures will pique your interest and turn you away from an actual treatment that will help you long term. The following examples are useful while you are trying to determine the best route of treatment or alongside your botox treatment, but alone they will not suffice.

Mouthguards will help decrease the effects of grinding your teeth together, but it won’t stop the act grinding or clenching in itself. You might also try anti-inflammatory medications and while these will relieve stress from aches and pain, it is only a temporary fix. Surgery is also an option to paralyze the masseter muscle, but injecting botox is an easier procedure for reducing the inflamed muscle and slimming your jawline in the process.

According to a botox for bruxism study, Dr. Joseph Jankovic, a senior researcher, and professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston believes botox should be the treatment of choice. "Nighttime and daytime bruxism is a very common condition that can cause headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome and dental problems that can lead to disability and adversely impact the quality of life," says Dr. Jankovic.

In his study, Dr. Jankovic observed patients experience less pain and satisfying results from patients who received the Botox injection treatment. He also studied the patients while they were asleep to asses that the teeth grinding decreased as well.

What about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

TMD is a result of bruxism that adds even more difficulty to the condition. Problems caused by TMD can be anything from problems speaking, chewing, smiling and sex. Usually, patients with this symptom have suffered from jaw trauma in the past from an accident such as a dislocation.

In some cases, it is advised that you not get botox treatment for TMD. The reason for this is because botox is seen as just as dangerous as surgery due to it being a toxin. Some experts say botox should be used for TMD sufferers as a last resort. Alternative measures like chewing softer foods and talking less are also recommended.

Botox Among the Top Answers for Bruxism Patients

Receiving consistent botox injection treatment will relieve your troubles of pain and dental issues with the medication blocking the masseter muscle contractions that have been causing you so much worry. You don’t have to struggle through your days and nights suffering from relentless pain.

Let these answers for Bruxism patients assist you in your decision to move forward seeking botox treatment. Give your doctor a call today and reap the benefits of botox relieving your bruxism symptoms. It’s best to seek professional opinion and evaluation to know if Botox will work for you.

Contact us today for more information and support in reviewing your potential treatment options.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 18th February 2020
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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