Bruxism is a condition wherein you involuntarily grind or clench your teeth. Most people who have it find that their bruxism is worse at night, but it can also occur during the day as well.
This condition needs to be treated in order to preserve your dental health — grinding your teeth destroys enamel, fatigues muscles, and can even ruin restorations such as dental crowns. Unfortunately, many people find that they can't stop grinding their teeth during the day, no matter how hard they try. If this applies to you, consider Botox as a treatment option. Below, you'll find out how Botox can help you stop grinding your teeth.
Why Do Traditional Treatments for Bruxism Sometimes Not Work?
The traditional treatment for bruxism is wearing a mouth guard while you sleep at night. The mouth guard prevents you from damaging your teeth if you unconsciously grind them during your sleep.
However, you can't wear the mouth guard all the time. During the day, patients who have bruxism try to stop grinding their teeth whenever they notice they're doing it. Unfortunately, sometimes the grinding can't be managed successfully — it can be caused by uncontrollable muscle spasms in your jaw. When it's not able to be managed during the daytime, bruxism will still continue to damage your teeth.
How Can Botox Treat Bruxism?
Botox is a neurotoxin that prevents motor neurons from receiving the chemical signals that they need to activate. When the motor neurons are prevented from fully activating, muscle movement becomes weaker.
In order to treat bruxism, Botox is injected into two different muscles that control the majority of your jaw movement: the masseter and the temporalis. A few days after the injection, many of the motor neurons in these muscles will become blocked. The muscles that control your jaw won't be able to move as forcefully, which results in less damage when you grind your teeth. The injections usually wear off in around four months, and your muscles will return to normal afterward.
When Should You Consider Botox Treatment for Bruxism?
If you're still involuntarily grinding your teeth during the day, schedule an appointment with a dentist who provides Botox injections. Not all dentists provide this service since it requires special training.
It's also important to find a dentist who has experience treating bruxism with Botox, as it's important to use the correct dosage — a dose that's too high can weaken your jaw muscles to the point where it's difficult to chew food. With the correct dose, however, you'll be able to chew normally while minimizing the impact that involuntary grinding has on your teeth.
For more information, contact a company like Essentially Pure Dentistry.