An Unusual Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Are you grinding your teeth at night?
If you’re waking up with a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw, you might be a teeth grinder.
Regular grinding (officially called bruxism) will wear down your teeth, so to protect them your dentist may fit you with a night guard. If you’re not a fan of night guards, you might be interested in an alternative treatment.
Believe it or not, wrinkle smoothing (more commonly known by the trade name Botox or the active ingredient Botulinum Toxin ‘BTXA’*) can actually help. It works by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing muscles to relax. This allows any wrinkles above that muscle to soften and ‘smooth’ over.
Studies suggest that BTXA therapy shows promise in reducing chronic pain caused by bruxism, and can also reduce the number of events while sleeping.
In the meantime, what can you do to help stop yourself from grinding?
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Avoid alcohol, as grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption
- Avoid chewing on things other than food as this conditions your jaw muscles to get used to clenching
- Train yourself not to clench – if you notice yourself clenching throughout the day, relax
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek before bed.
Remember that stress is a contributor to bruxism too.
So take a moment to relax, and if grinding your teeth is still a major concern, consider booking an appointment for a more thorough examination.
*Cosmetic procedures aren’t the only thing BTXA is used for – it has also been used in the treatment of other, non-cosmetic disorders. Examples include hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), migraines and muscle disorders. Feel free to get in touch with one of our specialists to talk you through your options.