Dental Botox® not only provides cosmetic benefits but therapeutic ones too. There are now newer and more varied uses for Botox® in the fields of medicine and dentistry. One such application is the use of dental Botox® to manage bruxism or teeth grinding.
Chronic teeth grinding often brings along other problems. People who suffer from bruxism often have to live with chronic pain in the jaws or ears. Additionally, they may develop migraines. The constant grinding also wears down the teeth, which sometimes results in fractures and, in extreme cases, tooth loss.
Curious to know how dental Botox® can be used to address bruxism? Keep reading to find out more!
Dental Botox® vs. conventional treatments for teeth grinding
The symptom that drives a person to seek a dentist’s help for Bruxism is typically pain or soreness. A dentist will start the patient’s treatment with an evaluation and diagnosis. They will follow this up with pain relief measures to deal with the symptoms. This involves the dispensing of anti-inflammatories and dental appliances like night guards.
However, dealing with the symptoms does not eliminate the root cause of the problem, which is where dental Botox® comes into play. At its core, teeth grinding is a function of jaw clenching. Now, the jaw clenching itself is usually a result of an underlying issue.
As the dentist charts a way forward to address the root cause, they may use dental Botox® to partially paralyze the jaw muscles, which puts teeth grinding to a halt, for a while.
How dental Botox® works
Jaw muscles, or any muscles for that matter, contract when the nerves that control them transmit electrical impulses. Being a neurotoxin, Botox® effectively shuts down the transmitting capability of a particular motor nerve. This cuts off communication between the nerve and the muscle it controls.
With no incoming signals, the muscle remains relaxed until the nerve resumes transmission. The effects of dental Botox® last up to four months, during which time the muscles remain unable to contract.
In the case of teeth grinding, it is the masseter muscle that clenches constantly. This large muscle is responsible for moving the jaw, so the dentist will use just enough dental Botox® to weaken the contractions of the muscle. Instead of paralyzing the muscle completely, the dentist will just turn down the voltage of the impulses that make it to the muscle.
Is dental Botox® a cure for teeth grinding?
In short, no. The treatment only addresses the jaw clenching that causes the teeth grinding. While dental Botox® does go farther than a nightguard, it still does not address root causes like:
- A bad bite
- Jaw deformity or misalignment
Because the effects of dental Botox® only lasts three to four months, a dentist will either recommend further treatment or advise the patient to return for periodic Botox® injections. However, a skilled dentist or oral surgeon will always try to find a more permanent and holistic treatment option.
Get started with dental Botox®
Want to learn more about dental Botox® for teeth grinding? Reach out today to get started.
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