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Bruxism (Teeth-grinding) Treatment with Botulinum Toxin

Do you grind or clench your teeth? 

Bruxism (teeth-grinding or jaw clenching) is the unconscious clenching of the jaw muscles (masseters), possibly with grinding of the teeth too, which can lead to headaches, damaged teeth, disturbed sleep and painful ulcers inside the mouth.
Recent studies have shown that injection of botulinum toxin into the masseters can help relieve the symptoms of bruxism or even stop it altogether. 

How much botulinum toxin will I need?
The amount required varies from person to person and depends on the muscle mass in your jaw. Some patients require as little as 10 units per side to get a good result, others require up to 25 units or more. We will need to assess your jaw muscles to be able to give a better estimate.

How long will treatment last?
The effects generally last 3-4 months, however the effects tend to be cumulative with the muscles becoming progressively smaller over time. We recommend coming in for maintenance treatment when it starts to wear off, not waiting until it has worn off completely. We also advise patients avoid eating chewy or tough-to-eat foods like toffees, French bread et cetera to avoid over-using the jaw muscles to allow the treatment to work as long as possible. 

Are there any side effects specific to this treatment?
Aside from the usual potential side effects of slight bruising and redness at the injection side, the only side effect specific to the treatment of bruxism is some patients notice their face shape may change. This is because the botulinum toxin has reduced the muscle mass in the jaw, making it appear narrower. 

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Mandatory information:
BOTOX® is a Prescription Medicine containing 100 units of clostridium botulinum Type A toxin complex for injection. It is used for the treatment of frown lines, crows feet and horizontal forehead lines. It should be administered only by trained medical professionals. Cautions: people with defective neuro-muscular transmission disorders, presence of infection at site of injection, glaucoma, pregnancy and lactation. Possible side effects include headaches, pain, burning or redness at injection site, local muscle weakness including drooping eye lids, lack of feeling & nausea. Talk to your specialist about the benefits/risks of this procedure or if you have concerns or side effects. Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Auckland