When they hear the word “Botox,” many people think of days spas or a dermatologist’s office, somewhere that you visit when you want help reducing fine lines and wrinkles. And while this popular treatment can indeed give you a smoother, more supple-looking face, it also has other uses that can dramatically improve your quality of life and dental health. More than a mere beauty aid, Botox can also help to relieve the painful effects of jaw clenching.
Jaw and Facial Pain
The most common source of jaw pain occurs when you’re least capable of stopping it yourself. While you sleep, you may be unconsciously grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw. The medical term for this condition is Bruxism. Allowed to continue, the grinding and clenching can result in headaches, migraines, earaches, and other cranio-facial pain. Chronic pain makes it difficult to concentrate at work or enjoy your time with family and friends. Your quality of day-to-day life erodes as your focus shifts to managing the discomfort. And to make matters worse, you can develop harmful dental issues, as constant grinding can cause loss of tooth enamel, chipping, and increased sensitivity.
How Botox Helps
The same mechanism that allows Botox to smooth out crows’ feet and wrinkles can also help to stop jaw clenching and relieve the pain it causes. And unlike anti-inflammatory medications or a dental device to guard the teeth, Botox targets the source of the problem. When injected into the large muscle in the jaw (called the masseter), it works to stop the involuntary spasms and hyperactivity that cause clenching. Studies have shown Botox to be a safe, quick, and non-invasive treatment. Even better, it doesn’t require much upkeep, as results typically last between 3-4 months.
While Botox isn’t a cure for jaw clenching, it can certainly alleviate the symptoms. It’s a great alternative to other treatments, which may not do enough to help. Once you’re able to stop grinding your teeth at night, your dental health should improve, in addition to your overall comfort.
My Family Dentistry offers a soothing, spa-like atmosphere for our patients, whether you come in for extensive dental work or smile whitening session with Dr. Wes Mullins. Like us on Facebook for updates on our services and events, including in-office treatments for Botox and dermal fillers.