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Home Home Oral Health Grind Your Teeth at Night? Botox Might Help
Grind Your Teeth at Night? Botox Might Help
News - WebMD Oral Health
Jupiter, FL Dentist

Continued

Next, 13 of the participants were given Botox injections through their cheeks into their chewing muscles. The other nine were injected with an inactive placebo. After four to eight weeks, the participants were reassessed while spending another night in the sleep lab.

Among those given the placebo, none showed improvement in their grinding or clenching, according to the report. But six of the 13 people injected with Botox had symptoms the researchers described as "much improved" or "very much improved."

The participants also rated their symptoms and pain on two scales of 0 to 100, where 50 meant no change. People who'd received Botox reported fewer symptoms and less pain, with average scores of 65 on both scales. Those who'd been given the placebo reported no improvement, with average scores of 47 and 42, respectively.

Jankovic said the Botox treatments produced no serious side effects. Two participants given the drug experienced lopsided smiles, which evened out after a couple weeks, he said.

Limits of the study included its small size and lack of an accepted way of assessing the severity of teeth grinding, Jankovic said.

Other treatments for teeth grinding and clenching include mouth guards, which can help prevent tooth damage but may not stop the grinding and clenching. In addition, behavioral and drug treatments have been tried, but they either have not been tested in clinical trials or have had mixed results, Jankovic said.

The cost of Botox treatment varies, he said, but it's covered by most health insurance.

Though small-scale, the study showed that Botox is better than a placebo in treating teeth grinding, he said. Larger trials aren't planned, and Allergan has not decided whether to apply for FDA approval for using Botox for bruxism, according to Jankovic.

The study was published online Jan. 17 in the journal Neurology.

Karen Raphael, a professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and medicine at New York University College of Dentistry in New York City, isn't convinced that most teeth grinding needs to be treated.

"At best, sleep bruxism is now considered a risk factor for potential oral health problems, but not an inherent disorder," she said.

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