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Botox for Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): A Common Procedure with Therapeutic and Cosmetic Benefits

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Botox Cosmetic is an effective treatment for diminishing wrinkles on the face but it also has several other treatment indications. I’ve posted about using Botox to treat patients with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Another increasingly popular treatment has been Botox for teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism. Bruxism is a condition in which you excessively grind, gnash, or clench your teeth.  Bruxism affects both women and men.

You may unconsciously clench your teeth during the day, or grind or clench your teeth at night when you sleep.  Chronic teeth grinding/clenching may result in jaw pain, headaches, tooth damage, and other problems. The exact cause of bruxism is unknown, however it is believed to be linked to stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

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To treat this condition, a few tiny injections of Botox are administered into the main muscle responsible for grinding, the masseter muscle. Botox effectively weakens this muscle but does not affect eating, chewing or talking.

Most patients will experience a resolution of most, if not all, of their symptoms from teeth grinding within two weeks of the injection.  A typical dose of Botox to this area ranges anywhere from 20 to 30 units into each side, for a total treatment dose of 40-60 units.  The effect of the Botox generally lasts 6 months.

Markings on a patient treated for bruxism with Botox injections. The masseter muscle is selectively weakened to treat excessive teeth grinding and clenching, with the added benefit of improved jaw contour.
Botox injections for teeth grinding also has an aesthetic benefit. In some cases, teeth grinding over time may cause hypertrophy, or enlargement, of the masseter muscle. This may result in an enlarged, square jawline. In these patients, the Botox may serve to reduce the appearance of the muscle, therefore creating a narrower, more youthful “V-shaped” and feminine jawline.  Who knew that Botox could improve the jaw contour as an added benefit?
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This simple 15 minute procedure can prevent unwanted teeth clenching, stopping further damage to the teeth, putting an end to headaches and pain, and allowing for better sleep and an improved quality of life!  Treatment takes just minutes and can be life-changing for many people!

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Before and after Botox injections to the masseter muscle – a more tapered jawline is the aesthetic result.

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For more information about Botox treatments for teeth clenching and grinding or to schedule a consultation, complete our online consultation request form or call 415-923-3067 today.

I look forward to treating you!

Emily Sespaniak, NP-C



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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA