Bruxism is a painful condition that affects many people and is often untreated. Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time and may not need any treatment. But when teeth grinding and clenching is occurring more frequently, it can damage the teeth and cause a myriad of unwanted symptoms. People suffering from this condition are often unaware of its existence because the involuntary teeth grinding and clenching usually occurs at night when they are asleep (sleep bruxism) or subconsciously during the day(awake Bruxism)
What causes Bruxism?
Bruxism doesn’t have one definite cause. Most often, the cause of Bruxism from one person to the next differs. For example, Bruxism is often linked to stress, whereby some people will clench their teeth when anxious, angry, or stressed. Sleep Bruxism is sometimes attributed to sleeping disorders or genetics, which means it may run in the family. Other probable causes of Bruxism include medication side effects, malocclusion, But further research is needed to understand the possible causes of Bruxism better.
Bruxism Frequently Asked Questions
Common symptoms of Bruxism to watch out for:
1. Headaches or sore jaw when you wake up 2. Earaches yet there’s no problem with your ears 3. Stiffness and pain in the jaw joint 4. Disrupted sleep-sometimes the teeth grinding may be loud enough to wake up the person sleeping next to you! 5. Worn down teeth leading to increased sensitivity and even tooth loss 6. Broken teeth or fillings 7. Overdeveloped masseter muscle
Treatment Options for Bruxism
Often treatments can include using mouth guards or mouth splints. But these are very expensive, with custom made mouth guards often costing several hundred pounds. Unfortunately, these don’t actually treat the problem and only delay the inevitable while often leading to poor quality of life. Another option is getting a reductive coronoplasty—a dental procedure that involves the reshaping or leveling of the teeth’s biting surface. But traditional treatments have been ineffective at treating the pain and masseter hypertrophy associated with chronic grinding and clenching of teeth.
Treating Bruxism using Botox
Here at Dr. Aesthetica, we suggest using Botox to treat Bruxism. Multiple studies have shown that botulinum toxin(Botox) injections can reduce the pain and frequency of teeth grinding while also relieving the stress in the surrounding masseter muscle. Botox works by relaxing the jaw muscles, which in turn results in less clenching or grinding of teeth and significantly less pain. Patients often report a significant improvement of symptoms within a week and report having the “best sleep in ages.” Botulinum toxin is a safe and effective treatment for patients who grind or clench their teeth, develop temporal-mandibular joint(TMJ) pain, or have masseter hypertrophy(wide and square-shaped jawline).