While bruxism, or teeth grinding, may not seem like a huge dental problem, the condition can lead to gum recession and microfractures in enamel. While some people can alter the habit during daytime hours, it can be hard to change the habit if you grind your teeth while you sleep. A mouthguard can be helpful for some people since it protects enamel from wear, but it may not be an ideal solution for everyone. Take a look at why a mouthguard might not be the best idea for some people and how a treatment like Botox could help you manage this condition.
Why Mouthguards Do Not Work for Everyone
A small amount of teeth grinding is a normal response during sleep. Some mild bruxism flexes the jaw muscles and helps to open the airway to prevent sleep apnea. This jaw flexion could also stimulate salivary glands that could neutralize gastric acid from disorders like GERD. In short, you may not want to wear a mouthguard at night if you have GERD or sleep apnea (unless the oral appliance is specifically for sleep apnea).
Who Can Benefit from Botox
Not only are mouthguards not the best solution for people with GERD or sleep apnea, but they don't address the root cause of teeth grinding (e.g. stress). While a mouthguard may protect teeth from wear, it doesn't stop the actual motions of bruxism. Even if you wear a mouthguard, you may still experience headaches and pain in your jaw and ears. A treatment like Botox can be a good solution because it can relax your muscles enough so that you can avoid these kinds of symptoms.
When a person thinks of Botox, he or she may think of cosmetic treatments for wrinkles, but many dentists are using Botox to treat issues like gummy smiles, TMJ, etc. During treatment, your dentist will inject Botox into your facial muscles to relax them. When facial muscles are relaxed, you will be less likely to grind your teeth as intensely. Botox can be helpful for people who suffer from headaches and other pain caused by teeth grinding, especially if no other treatments have worked.
As you can see, while mouthguards are npt necessarily bad, Botox could be a better option for certain patient demographics. Consult a dentist near you for more information on how Botox treatment could help relieve the pain caused by grinding your teeth.Share