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:
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.
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.
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.
Depending on the individual, patients may start feeling the effects by the next day.
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.
Occasionally some localised bruising can occur, but this is quite rare and can usually be masked with make-up.