Botox for Bruxism
Botox is becoming a promising and simple treatment to help people with severe bruxism. Known for its cosmetic effect on wrinkles, Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) was actually first used to treat involuntary muscle tension and spasms. Since bruxism is the unconscious clenching of the teeth, it only makes sense that more and more research is being done on Botox and bruxism.
Botox injections weaken the masticatory muscles just enough to reduce bruxism. And it still allows you to chew, talk and smile normally.
For the past 20 years, Botox as a bruxism treatment was reserved for special cases. For example, people with autism or amphetamine addicts who had difficulty wearing a night guard when sleeping. That is to say, wearing a custom night guardis still the first step to treat bruxism. But since those patients couldn’t wear a night guard, they were treated with Botox injections. And research show their botox treatment successfully reduced bruxism.
You should first try a custom night guard before thinking about Botox treatments. But if wearing a night guard doesn’t improve your bruxism, Botox could well be the solution.
One study shows that Botox “reduces the frequency of bruxism events, decrease bruxism-induced pain levels and satisfy patients’ self-assessment”. In comparison with a custom night guard, Botulinum Toxins are equally effective on bruxism. In another study, all patients treated with Botox have declared “a good/very good improvement in symptoms. Overall, studies support the efficacy of Botox to reduce pain in the muscles of the jaw.