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Your Guide to Botox for Bruxism

A medical professional preparing to inject Botox into a patient’s jaw muscles
Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Author: Patricia Pezzano

If stress has been getting to you lately, you might find yourself unintentionally clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to more serious jaw disorders and cause damage to your teeth if you don’t seek treatment.

Botox for bruxism is something to consider when evaluating treatment options. This safe and non-invasive procedure can work wonders to relax your muscles and prevent jaw clenching when stress levels rise.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. For some, teeth grinding and clenching may increase when stress levels increase. While it can also affect you when you’re awake, sleep bruxism is much more common and affects millions of people worldwide.

If your symptoms are mild, you may not require treatment. A lifestyle change or behavioural therapy can help to manage your symptoms. However, if you have sleep bruxism or experience severe pain from clenching, you may be a candidate for further treatment options.

Frequent jaw clenching and teeth grinding can result in constant headaches, teeth damage, earaches, and pain along your temporomandibular joints, known as TMJ.

a dentist showing a patient x-rays of his teeth

Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism

Scheduling regular dental check-ups is important. However, you can also watch out for the following signs at home:

  • Oversensitive teeth
  • Locked jaw
  • Severe teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Chipped teeth
  • Worn-down enamel
  • Neck pain
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Unexplained earaches
  • Mild to moderate temple headaches
  • Disturbed sleep

You may benefit from seeking professional help if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms.

How Can Botox Treat Bruxism?

Although various dental devices such as splints or mouth guards can protect your teeth from damage, the side effects of teeth grinding such as tension and pain will still remain.

Botox for jaw clenching is a safe treatment that can help relax muscle contractions in your jaw. The treatment involves injecting small doses of botulinum toxin into the masseter muscles to help relax the occurrence of muscle clenching and grinding.

Although botulinum toxin is commonly known for aesthetic treatments, studies have shown it is also a safe and effective treatment for patients with severe bruxism and TMJ pain.

Where to Inject Botox for Bruxism

Medical professionals can agree on the fact that where you inject Botox matters in order to achieve desired results.

It is recommended that for patients experiencing bruxism and TMJ pain, injections into the masseters can help to alleviate the instances of grinding and pain that follows.

Another recommended injection site is the temporalis muscle, which is what closes your jaw and helps with your chewing. Bruxism may cause inflammation to the temporalis muscles and can lead to painful migraines.

How Many Units of Botox Are Used for Bruxism and Jaw Clenching?

The units required to treat bruxism with Botox vary depending on the severity and uniqueness of your condition. The amount of units needed also depends on the following:

  • Your age
  • Overall health
  • How long you’ve had bruxism
  • The severity of your symptoms
  • The extent of the damage done to your teeth and jawbone.

However, medical experts have said that the dose for the masseter muscle can range anywhere between 25-30 Botox units for each muscle. For the temporal muscle, a range of 15 to 20 Botox units are needed per side.

A dental professional learning how to perform Botox on a live model

Are There Side Effects to Botox for Jaw Clenching?

As with any medical procedure, Botox for bruxism may cause short-term side effects.More common but temporary side effects include:

  • Swelling or bruising at the injection site
  • Headache or flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue

A rare side effect with masseter treatments is if incorrectly injected, it may cause temporary asymmetry around the mouth until the effects of Botox begin to wear off.

Internationally Recognized Filler and Botox Training for Dentists

Using Botox for clenching jaw problems is an effective way to relieve the pain. The treatment process is straightforward and safe, especially when administered by board-certified dentists and other licensed medical professionals.

APT Injection Training specializes in Botox and Dermal Injection Training and provides up-to-date training courses and professional certifications aligned with global standards.

So, if you’re a medical professional interested in expanding your service offering, get in touch with us today! We’ll be happy to discuss our programs with you.

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