What is Bruxism?
Teeth grinding is clinically referred to as bruxism. Simply defined, it is the act of consciously or unconsciously clenching your teeth either during the day or while you sleep. Bruxism is considered both a medical and a dental problem. This is because it affects both the teeth and all of the structure near it, including the head.
Teeth grinding usually happens during sleep. Teeth grinding is as common as snoring. However, unlike snoring, teeth grinding sounds are a little on the low side, although it can be as bothersome as well.
Teeth grinding, although it is not a major health issue, can bring about problems like mouth, jaw, and face problems, broken dentures, missing teeth, and many others. It is very important for adults to consult a dentist so that their teeth grinding habit is addressed before any further problems develop.
One will only know if he or she suffers from bruxism if the symptoms of teeth grinding appear. The symptoms of this condition vary greatly with the cause.
Dentists are bruxism’s first line of experts. They are the people who can confirm whether you are participating in teeth grinding or not. To know for sure, dentists perform a series of checks and exams with their patients. Teeth grinding diagnosis is usually performed inside the dental clinic.
Once the dentist had determined that you suffer from bruxism, he would prescribe a cure for you. Teeth grinding cures are dependent upon the main cause of the habit.
How Botox Can Help Bruxism Sufferers?
In a small randomized study, 13 patients with severe bruxism during sleep receiving onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox) in the masseter muscles of their jaws had significant reductions in self-reported pain and teeth grinding relative to 10 patients who had placebo injections, reported William Ondo, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and colleagues.
Physicians at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, meanwhile, reported that four patients with severe bruxism obtained significant relief with open-label Botox. Both studies were presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting.
Bruxism is common but usually mild. In severe cases, it can cause pain in the jaw or generalized headache, as well as dental problems. Eventually it can fracture teeth or wear them down. Hypertrophy of the masseter muscle can also occur, altering the facial appearance.
Treatment usually involves mechanical devices that protect the teeth but do nothing to stop the basic clenching/grinding impulse, so headache and jaw pain may continue. Ondo and colleagues noted that drug treatments, such as benzodiazepines and dopaminergic agents, are sometimes effective but that there is no consensus on a standard of care.
The Houston study included polysomnography as well as patient self-reports to determine the effectiveness of Botox injections. Patients with sleep apnea or who failed to demonstrate bruxism during baseline polysomnography were excluded.
Polysomnography showed that sleep architecture and breathing parameters were not altered with Botox relative to placebo, alleviating one concern with the treatment.
No difficulties with chewing or swallowing were reported. Patients who ground their teeth so hard during sleep that they required medical attention achieved significant relief from botulinum toxin injections, researchers said here.
If Botox sounds right for your condition, give us a call! And take advantage of our special promotion for March 30th. Dr. Labelle will be doing Botox treatments at our spa. To celebrate we are offering them at 20% off!
Sources: MedPageToday.com, TeethGrindingCure.com