Bruxism is a problem that is bothering more and more people. The major signs are involuntary tooth grinding and jaw clenching, often during sleep. Today, there are numerous ways to treat this condition. One of the options is the use of Botox for bruxism treatment. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of this method.
Why Is It Necessary to Treat Bruxism?
Of course, this disease is not fatal. For some time, a patient may not even notice the symptoms because the negative impact on health comes not from the teeth grinding but from the consequences of this action. However, if bruxism is left untreated, the adverse effects will become more and more noticeable over time and cause a lot of discomfort. The reason is that this disease affects sensitive areas of the human body, such as teeth and oral cavity.
So, if you continue ignoring bruxism for some time, you may face the following issues:
- Teeth grinding and excessive clenching during sleep. Initially, these signs are uncomfortable, mainly for a patient’s family members.
- Hypersensitivity of teeth.
- Biting cheeks and pushing the tongue. Patients may experience pain.
- Restricted ability to open the mouth.
- Constant failures of dental restorations.
- Increase in the size of the chewing muscles. They become excessively fatigued, especially during chewing and speaking.
- Inflammation of the periodontal ligament of the teeth. This symptom may cause pain during biting.
- Excessive sensitivity, clicking, and pain in the temporomandibular joints. It can manifest as discomfort in the ear or front of the ear.
- Headache, especially in the temples.
- Tooth enamel abrasion.
How Does Treatment with Botox Work?
The main effect of Botox is blocking nerve impulses from the brain to muscle fibers, which relaxes muscles and, as a result, smooths wrinkles, the result most of us want to see. However, this drug has a positive effect not only in cosmetology. It can be useful in treating bruxism by helping relax the chewing muscles that are responsible for teeth grinding.
It is important to remember that Botox injection, especially if it’s chosen as a method of bruxism treatment, is a rather complicated process. The drug must be correctly injected. Moreover, a specialist should carefully follow storage conditions and dose selection. You can’t do this at home by yourself, as you can seriously harm your health. Only an experienced, certified medical professional is authorized to conduct procedures like this. After all, the drug must affect specific muscles and reach them precisely.
In general, the procedure is painless. However, local anesthesia can be used at the patient’s request. With the help of a thin needle, Botox is injected directly into the chewing muscles, which are overstretched and cause bruxism. After the procedure, involuntary tooth grinding stops.
When Is Botox Recommended?
There are several ways to treat bruxism. Often, patients follow their preferences while choosing a treatment method. However, only a doctor can decide if this procedure is necessary. Although each case is individual, bruxism treatment with Botox is usually recommended in the following cases:
- discomfort when the lower jaw moves;
- clicking in the lower jaw;
- preparation for classical prosthetics;
- pain in the temporomandibular joint;
- pronounced enamel abrasion;
- pain in the chewing muscles or their overstrain;
- inability to open the mouth.
Benefits of Botox in Bruxism Treatment
This treatment method has many advantages:
- Effective treatment of bruxism. Discomfort, tension, and painful spasms gradually disappear.
- Quick results. Patients may feel relief as soon as in a few days.
- The procedure is quite fast. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to inject Botox. After that, a patient does not need additional treatment and can return to their usual activities immediately.
- The medicine is not addictive.
- Smoother facial features in the jaw area. Patients who want to narrow their faces visually may enjoy this perk.
- Complications are usually absent.
- The drug is excreted from the body naturally. No medical intervention is required. After that, muscle mobility returns.
- The ability to straighten the lip line and correct a gum smile without surgery.
- The drug does not affect the functioning of other facial structures.
Disadvantages of Using Botox to Treat Bruxism
Even though this method has many benefits, you should also consider the cons:
- The effect of Botox lasts for 3-4 months. During this time, muscle fibers that have not contracted decrease in size.
- Side effects from using Botox are possible, although they are extremely rare and usually associated with the medicine application procedure. These may include pain, bruising, or swelling at the injection sites.
- In some cases, special skin care is required.
- If necessary, you might need to visit a doctor once again to improve or maintain the result of the injections.
When analyzing the disadvantages of using Botox, remember about the potential complications. For example, it can be bleeding or an infection. However, these consequences are mostly related to the doctor’s professionalism. So, considering the procedure, be responsible for choosing a medical specialist. His knowledge, experience, and skills will help minimize the risks as much as possible.
When Is Botox Prohibited?
This medicine is not a panacea for aging and bruxism. Its effects wear off over time, which necessitates repeated injections. However, there are cases when this medication cannot be used, no matter how much the patient wants to do it.
Here are the contraindications to the use of Botox:
- severe mental disorders and neuromuscular diseases;
- diabetes mellitus;
- oncological diseases;
- ulcers and other inflammatory processes on the skin;
- the acute stage of viral diseases;
- an allergy to Botox, such as itching and rashes at the injection sites.
The list of treatment options for bruxism is growing. Now, you can get rid of teeth grinding, which causes so many negative health consequences, with the help of Botox. The method continues gaining popularity, even though most people associate this tool mainly with cosmetic procedures. Botox safely relaxes the masticatory muscles that are in high tone, which significantly alleviates the symptoms of bruxism.