Today we will dive into the topic of bruxism, a common condition that I frequently treat patients for at The Medished.
What is Bruxism, you may ask? Well, it's a fancy term for tooth grinding. Bruxism occurs when a person involuntarily grinds, clenches, or gnashes their teeth, often without even realizing it. This condition can occur during the day or at night while sleeping.
The causes of bruxism are not fully understood, but stress and anxiety are thought to be common triggers. Other factors that can contribute to the development of bruxism include certain medications, alcohol and drug use, sleep disorders, and structural issues with dentition.
The condition can affect people of all ages, but there are certain groups that are more susceptible to the condition. For example, children may experience bruxism as a result of teething or stress related to school or home life. Women are also more likely to develop bruxism than men, possibly due to hormonal changes or increased stress levels.
Bruxism causes a whole host of issues for patients, including tooth damage, jaw pain, headaches, sleep disturbances and facial pain. In addition to this, some people get an increase in size of the chewing muscle (masseter muscle) resulting in giving their lower jaw a bulky appearance and affecting the shape of their face. Botulinum toxin can be used to reduce the grinding and in turn help to slim the jaw line as well as easing any other symptom. You can see some examples below of some lovely patients. Full results are normally seen and felt at the 6 week review.
Some people may be wondering if bruxism is becoming more common. While some studies have suggested an increase in the prevalence of bruxism in certain populations, it's important to note that the available data is somewhat limited. It's possible that the apparent increase in cases of bruxism may be due to better awareness and diagnosis of the condition.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for bruxism, depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying causes. Reducing stress and practicing relaxation techniques can help alleviate symptoms of bruxism. Wearing a mouthguard or splint at night can also protect the teeth and reduce clenching and grinding. In more severe cases, the use of botox can be very effective to help relax the jaw muscles.
While there is no definitive cure for bruxism, managing this condition is possible with proper treatment and lifestyle changes. Addressing the underlying causes of bruxism, such as stress or misaligned teeth, can help reduce symptoms and prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw.
In conclusion, bruxism is a common condition that can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism, try to make the lifestyle changes needed to reduce the cause. If that doesn’t work, masseter botox can be an effective way to relax the muscles, ease the grinding and reduce the size of the chewing muscle (masseter).
I hope you found this useful!