Clenching Treatment (Bruxism) – (Masseter Botox)

Say goodbye to clenching and grinding your teeth at night with clenching treatment.

What is Teeth Clenching (Bruxism)?

Clenching and grinding your teeth is a common involuntary response to anger, fear, or stress. In some people, this reaction occurs repeatedly throughout the day, even if they are not responding to an immediate stressor. This involuntary grinding of teeth is known as bruxism. Bruxism may happen while the person is awake or asleep, however people are much less likely to know that they grind their teeth while they sleep. Due to the force applied during episodes of sleep bruxism, the condition may pose serious problems for the teeth and jaw and may require treatment to lessen its impact.

What are the Harms of Clenching Teeth?

The long-term consequences of sleep bruxism may cause serious damage to the teeth. Teeth may become painful, eroded and mobile. Dental crowns, fillings and implants may also be damaged. Teeth grinding can increase the risk of problems with the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull, known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ problems can provoke difficulty chewing, chronic jaw pain, popping or clicking noises, locking of the jaw, and other complications. Not everyone with sleep bruxism will have serious effects. The extent of symptoms and long-term consequences depend on the severity of the grinding7, the alignment of a person’s teeth, their diet, and whether they have other conditions that can affect the teeth like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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Causes of Grinding (Bruxism)

Multiple factors influence the risk of sleep bruxism, so it’s usually not possible to identify one single cause for why people grind their teeth. Additionally, certain risk factors are associated with a greater probability of sleep bruxism.

Stress is one of the most significant of these risk factors. Clenching the teeth when facing negative situations is a common reaction, and that can carry over to episodes of sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding is also believed to be connected to higher levels of anxiety.

Researchers have determined that sleep bruxism has a genetic component and can run in families. As many as half of people with sleep bruxism will have a close family member who also experiences the condition.

Episodes of teeth grinding appear to be connected to changing sleep patterns or microarousals from sleep. Most teeth grinding is preceded by increases in brain and cardiovascular activity.

Another cause of bruxism is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes temporary sleep interruptions due to lapses in breathing.

Other factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, depression and snoring.

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Treatments Methods of Teeth Grinding

There is no treatment that can completely eliminate or cure teeth grinding during sleep, but several approaches can decrease episodes and limit damage to the teeth and jaw. Some people who grind their teeth have no symptoms and may not need treatment. The best treatment for sleep bruxism varies based on the individual and should always be overseen by a doctor or dentist who can explain the benefits and downsides of a therapy in the patient’s specific situation.

Stress Reduction

High levels of stress contribute to bruxism when awake and asleep, so taking steps to reduce and manage stress may help naturally decrease teeth grinding. Reducing exposure to stressful situations is ideal, but of course, it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress. As a result, many approaches focus on combating negative responses to stress in order to reduce its impact. Techniques for reframing negative thoughts are part of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Improving sleep quality and employing relaxation techniques can have added benefits for falling asleep more easily.

Medications and Botox

Medications help some people reduce sleep bruxism. Most of these medications work by altering brain chemicals to reduce muscle activity involved in teeth grinding. Most medications have side effects that may make them inappropriate for some patients or difficult to use over the long-term. It is important to talk with a doctor before taking any medication for sleep bruxism in order to best understand its potential benefits and side effect Botox injections are another way of limiting muscle movement and have shown effectiveness in more severe cases of sleep bruxism.


Various types of mouthpieces and mouthguards, sometimes called night guards, are used to reduce damage to the teeth and mouth that can occur because of sleep bruxism. Dental splints can cover the teeth so that there is a barrier against the harmful impact of grinding. Splints are often specially designed by a dentist for the patient’s mouth but are also sold over-the-counter. They may cover just a section of teeth or cover a wider area, such as the whole upper or lower teeth.

Symptom Relief

Another component of treatment is relieving symptoms to better cope with sleep bruxism. Avoiding gum and hard foods can cut down on painful movements of the jaw. A hot compress or ice pack applied to the jaw may provide temporary pain relief. Facial exercises help some people reduce the pain in their jaw or neck. Facial relaxation and massage of the head and neck area may further reduce muscle tension.


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