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Botox cosmetic and Botox Houston both contain botulism toxin type A.  While they are similar in many ways, they were designed to be used for different conditions.  A new study noted Botox may be able to help you stop grinding your teeth at night.  Grinding your teeth while you sleep or nocturnal bruxism is an increasingly common condition which does not yet have an established method of treatment.  In most cases dental guards are used to minimize the damage to your teeth although it will not actually prevent you from grinding them which can also cause significant jaw pain.

The Facts about Nighttime Teeth Grinding

Bruxism  is a condition which includes both the involuntary clenching of teeth as well as the grinding your teeth (both at night and during the day).  Sleep related teeth grinding is considered to be a much more significant problem because you have no control over it.  Unfortunately, the cause is of bruxism has not been agreed upon.  The most likely cause is your daily level of stress.  For many people, they will grind their teeth at night and never realize it because it may not cause any pain.  There are multiple factors which are combined in order to determine whether or not bruxism will cause you pain or other potential complications.  These factors include your posture, ability to relax, sleeping habits, diet, and whether or not your teeth are naturally misaligned.

Current Treatments of Bruxism

The goal of treatments is to simply reduce pain and prevent tooth damage.  Some of the most commonly recommended self-care tips include applying ice to sore jaw muscles, drinking plenty of water, relaxing your face and jaw muscles throughout the day, and getting plenty of sleep.  As you can see, none of these treatment options are directly geared towards eliminating nighttime teeth grinding.  Instead, they simply try to limit the damage that is caused.

Botox Offers a More Direct Approach

While there have been a number of studies surrounding the use of Botox to treat nighttime teeth grinding, they have primarily been with small sample sizes.  Fortunately, all of these studies have produced extremely positive results and using Botox to treat this issue is becoming more common.  The primary benefit of using Botox is it provides you with an approach designed to prevent nighttime teeth grinding rather than simply minimize the effects.

Why is Botox Effective?

To treat bruxism with Botox, you will have several injections directly into the masseter and temporalis muscles.  These are the large muscles which close your mouth and bring your teeth together.  Following the Botox injections, these muscles are temporarily weakened enough to diminish the forces associated with nighttime grinding.  Recent studies have reported the damage resulting from nighttime bruxism can be reduced if not eliminated after two or three sessions over a period of several months.

Are there any risks?

It is important to keep in mind the optimal dose of Botox for each person is unique.  This is because some people have stronger jaw muscles than others.  Once you have found your ideal dosage, chewing and facial suppressions will not be affected at all.  In general, the effects will last for 3 to 4 months which means regular maintenance will likely be required.

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