Botox, the staple of the cosmetic surgery industry, may be an answer for people who suffer from teeth grinding at night.
In a study by the University of Texas Science Center in Houston, 23 patients were randomly given either Botox or a placebo after being identified as suffering from nocturnal bruxism–the clinical name for teeth grinding. The study found that patients given Botox found relief from the condition as opposed to those given a placebo who found no relief.
As many as 15 percent of people suffer from nocturnal bruxism. The grinding can produce headaches and pain in the jaw area and is usually diagnosed by a dentist. The condition is usually treated with a mouthpiece that prevents damage to the teeth but doesn’t stop the grinding.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved Botox for teeth grinding, and a much larger study would be required to confirm the results of the Texas study.
An interesting side effect: some patients who underwent Botox treatment for teeth grinding saw a cosmetic change in their smile after the injections.
The University of Texas study was funded by Allergan, the company that makes Botox.