From migraines and headaches to pain in the backbone, ear aches , facial deformation and even dizziness and sickness, are some of the consequences caused by bruxism. Linked in many cases with stress, this affection doesn´t have a defined age or a specific patient profile: anyone can suffer, and what´s more nearly 80% of the population suffer at least once in their lifetime.
The key to this illness and the new wildcard to treat it : Botox.
Bruxism is “a complex disease that orginates from a point in the brain that produces hyperactivity of the chewing muscles.” It´s not how we thought before, it is from teeth and the temporo mandibular articulation (which connects the jaw to the cranium) the victims of this excessive muscular activity.
Diverse origin and multifactorial
Bruxism can be, according to its causes, from primary origin or idiopathic or from secondary origin. We refer to primary when there is no recognised cause; normally related to tensión and stress. In case it can be related to a certain cause or other diseases, primarily neurological (epilepsy, Parkinson´s disease etc), this is secondary bruxism.
In the same way, bruxism can be divided into daily or nightly,depending on when it occurs. In the latter case, jaw hyperactivity is more common when we are sleeping, which makes it more difficult to diagnose.
Bruxism is a multifactorial disease, which combines general factors like stress or sleeping disorders or local factors like a bad bite.
To these traditional solutions we can also introduce a new method : botox. This blocks a neurotransmitter called acetilcolina, which slos down the muscular hyperactivity.
One of the consequences of the muscular hyperactivity is the appearance of a squared face. The botox blocks the muscles and slows down this hyperactivity, reversing this effect and the associated pain.
The “whistleblowers” of bruxism
The principal criteria for diagnosing bruxism are facial pain or cervical, headaches, clenching, grinding and wearing down of teeth. Also, pain in the temporo mandibular articulation and the increase in the size of the masseter muscles that enhances the appearance of the “square face” as a consequence of the muscular hyperactivity maintained.
‘Bótox’, another ally
The most common solutions to treat this problem are mouthguards , phsiotheraphy exercises and some medicines. To these solutions we can now add another less conventional wildcard but highly effective: micro injections of the type A botulinum toxin or botox. These injections cause a block in the terminals of the neurotransmitter which is called acetilcolina. There are lots of illnesses that have been treated successfully thanks to botox. “In the case of bruxism, even though the origin lies in the brain, the one responsable for executing it, the masticating muscles are blocked. This slows down the muscle hyperactivity and acts as a pain reliever. This intervention should be carried out at least twice a year.