Teeth grinding primarily occurs when people unconsciously clinch the jaw and grind their teeth, usually while they are asleep. The medical term for teeth grinding is Bruxism.
The causes of Bruxism are unknown. However, it is thought to be aggravated by stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding is an important thing to which to pay attention, as it can lead to dental and jaw problems, not to mention jaw aches, neck pain, and even headaches. Temporomandibular joint pain, or TMJ as it is better known, is also associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching while asleep.
If you find yourself grinding your teeth without realizing it, and you experience one or more of these symptoms, a Botox treatment may actually be able to help. For several years now, those of us in the medical community have known that Botox can help reduce teeth grinding and prevent associate complications.
First, Botox is injected directly into the masseter muscle, which is the large muscle that clinches the jaw. When the Botox effect kicks in, the muscle relaxes and the clenching and grinding problems decrease significantly.
Chewing and facial expressions are normal, although a thinning of the masseter muscle frequently occurs as the muscle becomes more relaxed over time. This effect can give a person's lower face a slimmed-down appearance.
As with other Botox effects, we usually see improvement for 3 to 4 months. Of course, Botox does not correct worn enamel or chipped teeth, but can certainly reduce symptoms of TMJ pain, jaw pain, earaches, and headaches.
We at Maine Laser Skin Care certainly recommend routine dental follow-ups for any consequences that may arise as a result of prolonged teeth grinding. However, we have found that many dentists in the areas around our offices will refer patients to us for this important treatment in order to prevent further complications.
If you have if you have any questions concerning this aspect of Botox treatment, or you would like to see if you are an eligible candidate for such treatment, call either of our two offices. You can reach Maine Laser Skin Care in Augusta at (207) 873-2158 or in Scarborough at (207) 303-0125 to set up a free consultation.