More than 26 million American adults grind their teeth while they sleep. The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism, and it can cause headaches, facial pain, and tooth damage. At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness in Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Nichelle C. Renk treats bruxism and masseter tension with therapeutic Botox® injections. Find out more about Botox for teeth grinding by calling the office today.
Bruxism is a medical condition that occurs if you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth together. It can happen while you’re awake or while you’re sleeping.
The masseter muscle connects your lower jaw to your cheek and controls jaw movement and chewing. When you have bruxism, your masseter muscle holds tension and causes various symptoms. A few of the most common signs of bruxism are:
If you’re bothered by frequent headaches, pain around your ears or jaw, or tooth damage, you could have bruxism.
Botox is an injectable treatment that uses a purified form of botulinum toxin. It’s often used for cosmetic purposes to smooth the look of lines and wrinkles, but it has therapeutic benefits as well.
Botox is effective for bruxism because it addresses the cause of the condition: muscle overactivity. Other treatment options, like mouth guards, only prevent some of the side effects and many people find they still experience muscle tension when they try other treatments.
Masseter muscles treated with Botox are less likely to hold tension that causes bruxism. Botox relaxes the muscles to relieve symptoms of bruxism, but it doesn’t impact movements you want to make, like chewing and smiling.
When you come to Alpenglow Pain & Wellness for bruxism treatment, Dr. Renk makes a series of small Botox injections into the masseter muscle and around your face. The solution effectively relaxes your facial muscles to prevent involuntary tooth grinding and clenching.
The effects of Botox begin working within a few days. Over the next few weeks, you may begin noticing a slimmer jawline and less masseter tension. You can expect to notice decreasing symptoms, including fewer headaches and reduced tooth damage.
Most patients find that relief with Botox lasts three to four months. Dr. Renk develops a personalized treatment plan for you based on your bruxism symptoms and medical history. If Botox is right for you, you can generally continue treatment indefinitely to maintain your results.
Botox is an effective treatment option for men and women who suffer the damaging effects of bruxism and masseter tension. Talk to Dr. Renk to find out if therapeutic Botox could be right for you. Call the office to make an appointment today.