Bruxism

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Bruxism is a condition relating to excessive and unnecessary teeth-grinding and/or clenching of the jaw. It can occur during sleep or while the patient is awake. 

Bruxism is a surprisingly common phenomenon, estimated to affect up to 30% of the population. When the symptoms are mild, people may not even be aware of the condition.

However, in more severe cases, it can result in a series of unpleasant consequences, which could include:

  • headaches
  • aching/tired jaw
  • hypersensitive teeth
  • unnatural tooth wear, which could lead to dental work such as crowns, fillings or even tooth replacement

How can bruxism be treated?

Traditionally, the most common treatments for bruxism are directed at the symptoms, rather than the cause – repairing the damage to teeth or providing dental splints are common options. In some cases, medication may be used – such as anti-depressant or muscle relaxant, although there is little, if any, evidence for the efficacy of this approach in dealing with the problem.

Botox for bruxism

Dr Barbara Kubicka at Clinicbe® offers botox injections to help patients with bruxism. These have the distinct advantage of dealing with the cause of the problem rather than its consequences.

Botox injections are used to weaken the masticatory muscles just enough to reduce bruxism; by lessening the muscles’ ability to clench and grind the jaw. This involves 5-6 injections which are carefully administered in order to retain all the normal functions of chewing, talking and smiling.

Who should consider botox for bruxism treatment?

This treatment could be considered for those that have persistent bruxism problems, whether that is while they are awake or asleep.

In line with botox guidelines, treatment is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding mums.

As a fully qualified doctor, Dr Kubicka will establish a full medical history before recommending any treatment.

Bruxism FAQ

How quickly does it work?

Depending on the individual, patients may start feeling the effects by the next day.

How long do the effects last?

Botox injections last from 3-6 months, after which time treatment can be repeated to maintain the benefit.

Some patients may find that treatment helps them to break the cycle, so the habit stops even after the botox has worn off.

Are there any side effects?

Occasionally some localised bruising can occur, but this is quite rare and can usually be masked with make-up.

What evidence is there for this treatment?
  • Overall, studies support the efficacy of Botox to reduce pain in the muscles of the jaw
  • One study shows that Botox “reduces the frequency of bruxism events, decrease bruxism-induced pain levels and satisfy patients’ self-assessment
  • In another study, all patients treated with Botox have declared “a good/very good improvement in symptoms”