What To Expect When Getting Botox For Teeth Grinding

If you've ever meditated or practiced yoga, you may have been told to unclench your jaw and relax the muscles that are tensed up so tightly. It may not be until someone tells you to relax that you realize you've kept much of your tension there. If you are doing this unknowingly during your waking hours, you may also be grinding your teeth at night. And if you experience teeth grinding, for which the medical term is bruxism, you know how painful and frustrating this can be.

According to the Australian Government's Better Health Channel, about 5% of the population grinds their teeth at night or during the day. For some people who grind their teeth or clench their jaws, there may be a significant underlying cause. For example, if you've experienced pain around your jaw area because of grinding, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder. This can cause pain in your muscles around the jaw or your jaw joint, according to The Mayo Clinic. Jaw discomfort of this kind can be painful and damaging to our teeth and bones. Because we mostly grind our teeth subconsciously, many people believe it is a condition that they have to live with. However, there is a viable cosmetic treatment option available that might surprise you.

How do doctors treat teeth grinding with Botox?

It is a well-known fact that botulinum toxin, more commonly referred to as Botox, can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, per Saigal Facial Plastic Surgery. Many people credit Botox with erasing crow's feet around the eyes and laugh lines on their cheeks. However, teeth grinders are now turning to Botox to give them relief from bruxism. According to Colgate, if you receive Botox to ease teeth grinding, you will be given an injection in your jaw muscle — most likely the masseter muscle used for chewing — to help with tension and headaches. Although Botox takes a few days to kick in, you could reap the benefits for up to six months.

The Mayo Clinic mentions that Botox injections use the natural toxin onobotulinumtoxinA to prevent muscles from moving. Doctors also use Botox to treat conditions like an overactive bladder, migraines, and neck spasms. Cosmetic Skin Clinic explains that Botox is so effective because it prevents nerve signals from getting to the muscles that we use when we clench our jaws or grind our teeth.

Is Botox really effective on teeth grinding?

Although it may seem strange that Botox might be the answer to your teeth grinding questions, it is one of the most effective ways to calm your jaw muscles and ease the pain brought on by grinding. There are many benefits to this type of treatment. While more invasive than other treatment methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, Botox is a quick and effective procedure (via The Atlantic). For many, it is an affordable option that seems safer than taking muscle relaxants and wearing a mouth guard each night. Although it may take a few days to see results, there are very few side effects that accompany these treatments (via London Smiles).

If you struggle with bruxism and have unsuccessfully tried things like cutting back on caffeine, applying mouth guards, or attempting other treatments, consider Botox injections in your masseter muscles. Any trained Botox technician or specialist can administer this procedure, which can bring serious relief from your grinding and clenching.