Botox® for Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) & Overactive Masseter Muscle

woman suffering jaw pain from teeth grinding (bruxism)

What is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) and How Can Botox® Help?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition where an individual grinds, clenches, or gnashes their teeth together, often without their conscious knowledge. It can happen during the day when a person is awake (awake bruxism) or at night during sleep (sleep bruxism). Dr. DeGironemo works closely with and gets many referrals from dentists due to people grinding down their teeth because of this disorder. 

Several factors believed to contribute to teeth grinding include excessive stress or anxiety, problems with the alignment of the teeth or jaw, sleep disorders like sleep apnea, use of substances like caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, and use of medications like antidepressants. Teeth grinding can cause health issues like tooth damage, jaw disorders like TMJ, jaw pain, headaches, ear pain, and sleep disruption.

Botox® injections can be an effective way to treat teeth grinding. The injections relax the jaw muscles that cause teeth grinding, preventing them from contracting excessively and giving you relief from painful symptoms.

If you suffer from teeth grinding and you’re looking for treatment, schedule a consultation with facial anatomy expert Dr. DeGironemo at OMNI SCULPT MD today. Get the relief you deserve!

How Do Botox® Injections for Teeth Grinding Work?

Botox® reduces muscle tension and activity, which is why it is used for many cosmetic and medical procedures, including the treatment of involuntary jaw clenching.

Injecting Botox® directly into the masseter and temporalis muscles – the muscles that control the movement of the jaw – relaxes the muscles by temporarily blocking signals from the nerves that tell them to contract. Blocking these nerve signals reduces muscle tension and activity in the jaw area, which inhibits involuntary grinding and clenching, relieves painful symptoms, prevents further damage to the teeth and jaw, and improves overall jaw function by making it easier to open and close the mouth without clicking, popping, or stiffness. It can also help relieve headaches caused by teeth grinding.

Masseter Botox® can also provide a secondary cosmetic benefit by slimming the face. People with overactive masseter muscles tend to see this muscle bulge out of the jawline at rest and protrude significantly with clenching. People with rounder faces whose masseter muscle contributes to that roundness can also benefit significantly from the slimming effects of masseter Botox®, which can give them a more contoured facial appearance. 

The effects of Botox® injections for teeth grinding can typically be felt in about 2 to 4 weeks after treatment, and the effects typically last for 3 to 4 months. We recommend coming back for injections every few months, before the effects fully wear off, to maintain results and avoid recurrence of teeth grinding.

woman experiencing relief from jaw pain caused by teeth clenching

What to Expect at Your Botox® for Teeth Grinding Appointment

Before Your Appointment: To minimize bruising, avoid taking blood thinning medications for at least two weeks prior to your appointment and abstain from alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours before your appointment.

During Your Appointment: Dr. D may give you a topical anesthetic to numb the area. He will then inject Botox® into your jaw muscles to relax them and reduce teeth grinding. This procedure usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

After Your Appointment: Follow these aftercare instructions to get the best possible results and minimize complications:

  • Do not rub, massage, or apply pressure to the area of the injection for at least 24 hours
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities like heavy lifting or exercise for at least 24 hours
  • Stay in an upright position for at least 4 hours after your appointment

The effects of your Botox® injections should be felt in 2 to 4 weeks, and they should last for about 3 to 4 months. We recommend scheduling regular Botox® treatments with us to maintain these results.

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