Botox is becoming a promising and simple treatment to help people with severe bruxism. Known for its cosmetic effect on wrinkles, Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) was actually first used to treat involuntary muscle tension and spasms. And since bruxism is the unconscious clenching of the teeth, it only makes sense that more and more research is being done on Botox and bruxism.
Botox injections weaken the masticatory muscles just enough to reduce bruxism. And it still allow you to chew, talk and smile normally.
For the past 20 years, Botox as a bruxism treatment was reserved for special cases. For example, people with autism or amphetamine addicts who had difficulty wearing a night guard when sleeping. That is to say, wearing a custom night guard is still the first step to treat bruxism. But since those patients couldn’t wear a night guard, they were treated with Botox injections. And research show their botox treatment successfully reduced bruxism. 
You should first try a custom night guard before thinking about Botox treatments. But if wearing a night guard doesn’t improve your bruxism, Botox could well be the solution.
One study shows that Botox “reduces the frequency of bruxism events, decrease bruxism-induced pain levels and satisfy patients’ self-assessment”. In comparison with a custom night guard, Botulinum Toxins are equally effective on bruxism. In another study, all patients treated with Botox have declared “a good/very good improvement in symptoms. Overall, studies support the efficacy of Botox to reduce pain in the muscles of the jaw.
What Is The Botox Dose For Bruxism?
In most case, a dose of 40 units of Botox on both sides will help reduce bruxism. Mild bruxism can be dealt with 25 units on both sides, but most people need a higher dose. If your masseter muscles are hypertrophied, you might need more than 40 units for your first treatment.
Any Side Effects?
No significant side effects were seen in any of the studies. Some small temporary side effects include: soreness and bruising at the injection site, and with large dose, diffusion to superficial muscles of the face can result in a “fixed” smile for about 6 to 8 weeks.
How Long Does The Effect Last?
New Botox injections are periodically needed to treat bruxism. Duration of one treatment can last from 13 to 26 weeks, with the average being four months.
What Is The Cost Of Treating Bruxism With Botox?
The cost of Botox treatment vary greatly depending on the doctor or dentist you visit. Prices can range from $250 to $800. Cost is an important factor, but make sure first and foremost to choose a doctor with prior experience with bruxism and Botox.