What problems can grinding and clenching of teeth cause?
Damage to your smile
- Increased wear of fillings and teeth
- Damage to veneers and crowns
- Failure of dental implants
- Jaw and neck pain
- Increased facial muscle around the jaw.
Is clenching my teeth unusual?
Around 30% of us clench our teeth whilst we sleep. This is known as Bruxism. This can unknowingly be the cause of headaches and tension in the neck and shoulders. Common signs of Bruxism are worn down or chipped teeth. The pressure on the teeth during grinding can be 20 times greater than the force used in normal chewing and biting.
How do I know if I clench my teeth?
We can help assess if you clench or grind your teeth, we have found that it sometimes it may go untreated for a long period of time (DailyMail). Some of the symptoms include:
- Headaches or jaw/neck pain, especially in the morning.
- Notice of wearing down of your teeth
- Damage to dental restorations without any apparent reason, e.g. crowns or fillings
- Tender temple/ jaw muscles
- Discomfort whilst chewing
- Jaw makes a clicking sound.
What can I do?
Commonly a night guard a type of removable splint is provided, along with getting to the cause of your grinding, which could be tooth or life event and stress induced.
But Botulinum Toxin Type-A (Botox) injections can be used as a way of keeping bruxism under control. A number of studies have shown it could also be an effective treatment for bruxism.
What is Botulinum Toxin Type-A?
Botulinum Toxin Type-A (more well known by the ‘brand’ Botox® produced by Allergan), has been in use for over 20 years as a treatment for squints and nervous ticks. The substance is produced by bacteria, and is then highly refined, purified and diluted.
This treatment is probably the most popular cosmetic medical treatment for facial lines and wrinkles in the UK and can be used successfully in combination with other rejuvenation treatments.
How does Botulinum Toxin work?
It temporarily relaxes the main muscles involved with bruxism. They become overactive, causing the jaw to clench unconsciously. We inject enough Botox into these muscles so they relax
The effects last for about four months. Botox is approved for treating the painful symptoms caused by muscle spasticity in 20 different neurological conditions including bruxism.