- Do you grind your teeth at night?
- Do you clinch while sleeping?
- Do you wake up with your jaw muscles sore?
- Do you wake up with all of your teeth hurting?
- Do you have shorter front teeth with sharper edges compared to a few years ago?
- Do you have flat teeth (no cusps anymore) on your Molars and premolars (back teeth)?
These can be signs of grinding and clinching.
Bruxism means excessive teeth grinding. There are two types of bruxism. One type happens during sleep. The other one happens when the person is awake.
Clinching means pushing teeth hardy against each other. This is like biting very hard for a long time.
The majority of bruxism is caused by stress and anxiety.
There are different ways to prevent this destructive routine. Below you can find two ways that your dentist can help you:
- You can wear Night Guard to prevent removing more tooth structure. So basically when you use a Night Guard you grind the night guard and not your teeth. However, night guards will not stop your grinding.
- Injecting Botox in a specific area that is responsible for chewing (masseter muscle) can slow down the grinding and clinching and its destructive action.
Some information about Botox:
- Botox is injected with very thin needles (insulin needles).
- Botox injection doesn’t hurt much.
- Effect of Botox injection can be seen 3 to 10 days after injection.
- Results of Botox injections may stay up to 4 months, then re-treatment is needed.
- By repeating the injections the results will likely last longer.
- Botox effects are not permanent, and there are no permanent side effects.
Injecting Botox to the masseter muscle will stop the grinding and clinching while it is effective. The injections need to be repeated when the effect is gone.
Dr. Roushanak Shafaghi