Botulinum Injection for Bruxism/Teeth Clenching

Frequently Asked Questions

Bruxism treatment is available at Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Fourways, West Rand and Illovo clinics. In Pretoria at Irene and Brooklyn as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl  and Willowbridge branches and in KwaZulu-Natal at the Ballito, Durban, Umhlanga branches.

No exact figures on the frequency of bruxism are available as over 80% of all bruxers may be unaware of the habit and the diagnosis is usually made when the teeth are examined by a dental surgeon. For these reasons, estimates of the prevalence of bruxism range from 5% to 20%.

Bruxism "gnashing of teeth" is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. It is an oral habit that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives. In most people, bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem. While bruxism may occur during the day or night activity, it is bruxism during sleep that causes the majority of health issues and can even occur during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders. Some bruxism activity is rhythmic (like chewing), and some is sustained (clenching). Researchers classify bruxism as "a habitual behavior, and a sleep disorder.

Most bruxers are not aware of their bruxism, and only 5% go on to develop symptoms, such as jaw pain, migraine and headaches, which will require treatments. In many cases, a sleeping partner or parent will notice the bruxism before the person experiencing the problem becomes aware of it.

Bruxism is the leading cause of dental damage and a significant cause of tooth loss and gum recession. It may take years for the first visible signs of worn teeth to appear and the dental bills that follow are usually exorbitant. By treating and recognizing Bruxism earlier on, Botulinum injections can help prevent future dental bills by breaking this habit and the avoidance of future dental bills is possible. Usually two treatment 4 months apart may break the habit.

Bruxism can result in abnormal wear patterns of the occlusal surface, loss of tooth structure and fractures in the teeth. With continued Bruxism, over time, dental damage will usually occur Bruxism is the leading cause of dental damage and a significant cause of tooth loss, tooth trauma and gum recession. It may take years for these first visible signs of worn teeth to appear. In addition, the mental stress from continual tension and pain in the face and neck area from TMJ can become unbearable to live with.

A novel treatment for this condition is to weaken the masseter muscles of the jaw with strategically placed Botulinum injections which weaken the muscle enough to reduce the effects of grinding and clenching, but not so much as to prevent proper use of the muscle. The procedure involves four relatively painless injections and patients start feeling the effects the following day with migraines usually dissipating by the end of the first week. The full effect of the Botox procedure takes at least one month when one may notice a slimming of the jawline due to the reduced size / relaxing of the masseters. Injections must be repeated every six months but the habit may be broken after the second treatment.

The symptoms that may be improved by Botulinum include:

  • Migraines triggered by clenching
  • Grinding and clenching
  • Morning jaw soreness
  • TMJ pain
  • Muscle tension throughout the day
  • Neck pain and stiffness triggered by clenching

At Skin Renewal we have had numerous patients who are at the "end of their tether" from the tension and pain that teeth grinding, clenching and Bruxism has on the face and neck area. Many of them have tried numerous treatments with not much success. Patients report back that from day 1 after the Botulinum injections, the pain and jaw stiffness start dissipating, giving almost immediate relief.

Make an appointment to consult with your Skin, or Health Renewal Doctor and he/she will assist you in determining how best to improve your Bruxism.

Sharon Izak Elaine Chat staff ) WhatsApp
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