Do you grind your teeth at night? Grinding and clenching during sleep is known as bruxism, and can cause damage to the teeth and jaw. Many patients with this condition wear a mouth guard at night for protection, but headaches and aching jaws are often symptoms that persist.
A study published in January 2018 by Dr. William Ondo and associates, tested the safety and the effects of using botulinum-A (Botox) to treat bruxism. Thirteen out of twenty two test subjects were given Botox injections, with the remaining 9 subjects receiving a placebo injection (no medication). Botox works by stopping muscle contraction when utilized in the muscles that control chewing.
Results were that those who had the Botox injections reported a reduction in pain, reporting that their symptoms had improved. Those who received the placebo injections experienced no change or relief.
The research team concluded that the treatment “safely improved sleep bruxism”, and recommended larger trials to further study the injections on larger groups of individuals. The results are very encouraging.