According to Delta Sleep Labs Inc., nocturnal bruxism, also known as nocturnal teeth grinding, is one of the most common sleep disorders today. Impacting a substantial 30 to 40 million Americans, nocturnal bruxism causes teeth damage, jaw pain, headaches, and even teeth hypersensitivity. However, due to minimal symptoms, many bruxers are unaware of their common condition. In fact, several only become mindful of their parafunctional habit after a trip to the dentist, who quickly sees the damage, or from their partner, who easily hear the damage.
As for a solution to flattened teeth and a sore jaw, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center may have stumbled across the greatest findings yet. Testing the cosmetic injectable Botox on frequent nighttime grinders, researchers found that after 4 weeks post-injection, participants and their partners experienced significant relief. The only side effect was a modest change in the appearance of participants’ smiles. Furthermore, in a separate study conducted by scientists at the Henry Ford Medical Center, patients who experienced severe bruxism following head injuries benefitted from Botox injections, and experienced no side effects.
Nevertheless, experts say that larger scale studies are needed to determine if Botox is effective in treating teeth grinding. However, as we’ve witnessed in several other non-cosmetic cases, Botox has shown to be successful in treating loss of bladder control, chronic headaches, eyelid spasms (blepharospasm), muscle stiffness and more recently, asthma.
First and foremost, Botox continues to be used for cosmetic purposes, temporary paralyzing the muscles of the face to treat crow’s feet, smile lines and other wrinkles. In fact, according to the ASAPS, Botox was the most commonly performed non-invasive procedure of 2012. As with the majority of all non-surgical techniques, results from these injections are temporary and need to be repeated every 3-6 months for optimal results.
For more information about Botox and its variety of uses, be sure to visit a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Leif Rogers to ensure positive results. Or, feel free to leave a comment about your personal experience with Botox!