I have always been one of those people who loves to get out into the world and talk with other people, but a few years ago, I realized that I had to do something about my smile. My teeth were yellow and unattractive, and it was really discouraging to see how much different my smile was. I knew that I needed to get my teeth fixed, so I started working with a professional dentist to make things right. Within a few short months, my smile was completely transformed, and I knew that I owed it all to my dental professional. Check out this blog for more information about working with a dentist.
If your teeth and jaw are continually sore, you might need to see your dentist. Your discomfort might be worse on some days, and barely noticeable on others. A quick dental checkup (paying particular attention to any erosion present on the biting surfaces of your teeth) can confirm that you're affected by bruxism, which is chronic teeth grinding. There are a number of ways to tackle this particular problem, and surprisingly — your dentist may recommend Botox.
Bruxism is a fairly common complaint, and rather frustratingly, its causes can be difficult to determine. There might be multiple causes. For example, the contact between your upper and lower teeth when your jaw is closed may be irregular. This could be due to a physical abnormality with a single mispositioned tooth making premature contact with its opposing tooth. The issue may even be orthodontic. In cases with a clear dental cause, correcting the issue should correct (or at least minimize) your bruxism.
Protecting Your Teeth
A night guard is a good option when there's no clear cause for your bruxism. The issue can be primarily nocturnal, so you might not even know that you're grinding your teeth. A night guard is a lightweight mouthguard, and when slotted over your upper or lower dental arch it prevents your teeth from making direct contact with each other. However, a simple night guard won't be sufficient for someone with severe bruxism. The constant grinding of your teeth will begin to erode your protective dental enamel (and this may already be underway), so your dentist needs to take action.
An Injectable Solution to Your Problem
Cosmetic injectables such as Botox are commonly used at dental clinics. They're offered in the traditional sense (injected into the skin to minimize fine lines and wrinkles), but also have medical applications — one of which is to treat bruxism. You receive a dose of Botox in your chewing muscles (your masseter muscle, your temporalis muscle, and your pterygoid muscle). This achieves a partial paralysis of these muscles. It won't affect your ability to chew your food but will prevent these muscles from involuntary clenching, managing your bruxism for the duration of the Botox's effectiveness. You will need additional injectables to maintain your results.
The speed and efficiency with which Botox can manage bruxism in some patients can be really quite surprising. It might seem curious that something used to remove wrinkles can also remove the discomfort associated with teeth grinding, but it's a valid treatment option for many people affected by bruxism.
For more information, contact a local dentist office, such as Koehn Dentistry & Aesthetics.