Can Botox be used to treat teeth grinding?

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses a small new study that points towards Botox injections as a possible treatment option for people who grind their teeth while they sleep.
4:07 | 01/18/18

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Transcript for Can Botox be used to treat teeth grinding?
Both to a "Gma" health alert. New hope for the millions who grind their teeth, clench their jaw, a you? Study finds Botox. Yes. Botox, Adrienne. That that actually can help? It could hook you up. They think we're familiar with Botox. I've never used it but I lot of people who have. Yes. Get rid of wrinkles extremely popular for a lot of people but also the injections could be used to reduce excessive sweating, headaches. That's true? And could help some have a better night sleep. Botox for your teeth? The injection commonly known for reducing wrinkles can also be used to prevent damage in your mouth. Patients like Jamie Cohen had tried everything, Botox gave the greatest relief. It's night and day. I feel so good after the first treatment I noticed a huge change and progressively it's gotten so much better over the last year. Reporter: A newdy from Houston methodist hospital published in "Neurology" funded by the makers of Botox, allergan pharmaceuticals looked at those injections as a treatment option in patients with symptomatic sleep bruksism or teeth grinding. Patients will grind their teeth at night and sometimes this can result in significant dental damage. Reporter: The small study took 22 people giving 13 Botox injections into their chewing and temporalis musts. Those with Botox reported less pain. The placebo group reported no less symptoms. These same muscles are needed for eating and speaking. Reporter: Dr. Donald Tanenbaum says Botox could be part of alternative treatments when mouth gars or medication haven't worked. I don't really think that Botox should be the first tool we pick up but certainly in somebody who has had intractable pain that has tried a lot of other therapies without benefit. I think this is a tool that is an excellent one to use. I believe it is very safe when used in experienced hands. Reporter: Okay, FYI for those hoping this remedy would be a twofer for eliminating wrinkles. No go, only injected in the jaw area and not likely going to affect muscles associated with wrinkles most people want to get rid of that. All right, Adrienne, thanks so much. Dr. Jen is going to join us here. Tell us more about this. Remember what Botox does, a toxin that causes muscle paralysis, another off-label use for a xhoven medical problem injected into the temporali sen masseter muscle involved in grinding and moving the yaw is an interesting finding. Very preliminary right now but interesting. Botox, you have to do it again and again and again. Long list of downsides. As we always say you could do this for me, benefits versus risks versus options so when you look at the risks with Botox, yes, you can have cosmetic temporary damage so you could have a change in the way you look. You could have dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. There is a cost involved and even if it's more a medical indication it may not be covered by insurance and requires repetitive treatments when that Botox wears off. Because some people were tweeting and saying, it's very expensive and want to know other things they could do to help. That's where we get into the options so when you talk about bruksism they include behavioral therapy, or done tick devices and a lot of medications that increase sedation so that people are so knocked out basically in their sleep that they're not going to move their jaw muscles but all of these are band-aids on the problem. We don't even know yet what causes it. What kind of damage does it cause. Not only to your gums but can inflame the tmj and disturb the person sleeping next to you. Interesting off liable use. Thank you. Ginger.

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