Most people probably aren’t familiar with the term ‘bruxism,’ even though it affects 1 in 10 adults in the United States, according to the American Sleep Association. Bruxism is better known by the common term ‘teeth grinding.’ Millions of Americans grind their teeth at night, often without even realizing that they do it. An innovative new dental procedure seeks to help these people by using Botox to relax certain muscles in the mouth and prevent teeth grinding.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth at Night?
Many people associate teeth grinding with stress, but that is far from the only cause. More commonly, teeth grinding during sleep is caused by an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. It can also be a side effect of a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Because it occurs while people are sleeping, many people are unaware that they grind their teeth until a partner notices.
What are the Effects of Teeth Grinding?
People who grind their teeth throughout the night may wake up feeling facial pain, particularly in their jaw, as well as headaches that are most acute in the morning. It can also result in a loss of sleep for the person dealing with bruxism or their partner. In serious cases, it can cause teeth to wear down, even to the point where bridges or crowns become necessary to correct the damage.
How Can Botox Help?
Botox is a shorthand term for botulinum toxin, a protein compound that stops muscles from contracting. Aesthetic Botox treatment injects the substance into the muscles in the face, particularly around the eyes and forehead, to prevent wrinkles. When applied to the temporal and masseter muscles, the muscles responsible for chewing, it can prevent people from clenching their jaw involuntarily. While the treatment is relatively new and the effects are temporary, Botox is a promising option for those affected by bruxism. Once administered by a trained professional, the results will usually last for about three to four months.
If you have been struggling with grinding your teeth, it may be time to treat the root of the problem. At Denver Dentistry, we regularly attend advanced education seminars for professionals to learn about the latest technological advancements and newly-developed techniques, such as Botox treatment for bruxism. Contact us today to make an appointment or check out our blog to learn more.