Millions of people involuntarily grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Studies have shown that frequent teeth grinding (known as bruxism) affects up to 15% of adults. Bruxism can lead to aching muscles, headaches, ear pain, jaw problems, disrupted sleep, hypersensitive teeth, tooth wear, and damage to fillings and crowns. Additionally, excessive use can lead to hypertrophy, or enlargement of the jaw muscle which can change the shape of the face creating a more squared-off jawline.
Fortunately, Botox can be an effective treatment for many cases of bruxism. Botox is injected into the chewing muscle, the masseter, causing partial paralysis of the muscle and relieving the adverse effects of bruxism without interfering with normal chewing. A recent 22 patient study performed at the Texas Medical Center in Houston confirmed the value of Botox in relieving the symptoms associated with teeth grinding. In addition to avoiding any future damage to your teeth, this treatment effectively reduces the size of the chewing muscle and softens the angle of the jaw.
A highly publicized example of this involves Bethany Frankel from ‘The Real Housewives of New York”. In 2016, fans and the media alike noticed a striking change in the size and shape of her jaw. Bethany explained that the change was entirely due to the Botox treatment she had been receiving for teeth grinding and that she had not had plastic surgery as the tabloids reported.
Botox is an excellent treatment choice for many people with bruxism, particularly those who find the use of nighttime mouth guards inconvenient and uncomfortable. If you or someone you know suffers from teeth grinding, call to schedule a free consultation with me today. This holiday, give yourself or a loved one the gift of ‘No more teeth grinding’!
-Dr. Tara Wegryn