Botox injections are best known for treating facial wrinkles and lines but they actually have many other uses as well, including preventing excessive sweating from under the arms. As well as cosmetic treatments, Botox jabs are becoming ever popular when used to treat bruxism – teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw.
The injections are designed to reduce the size of the muscles that control chewing so that the teeth are not put under a lot of pressure that can lead to wear and tear on the crowns; with the muscles reduced, the patient is unable to bite down with as much force and this eases pressure onto the teeth. The treatment is becoming increasingly popular as it is also used to contour the shape of the face and reduce the size of the jaw cosmetically; it can also reduce other symptoms associated with bruxism, such as headaches and facial pain.
A review in 2012 by the international Dental Journal found that the treatment was as effective as a mouth guard when it comes to reducing the grinding and dealing with associated symptoms, mainly the discomfort caused by the tense muscles. However, there is evidence that the procedure can cause bone loss around the jaw and this could cause problems in the future for patients that get the injections done regularly.