Botox was originally developed to treat undesirable muscle twitches in the eyelid. When injected, it works by keeping the muscles in the area from responding to brain signals that are causing them to contract. The same theory applies to Botox treatments made for treating facial pain caused by bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth).
Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity that commonly occurs in most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally they occur during the day.
The process of getting Botox treatments is a simple one, with the injections taking just 10 minutes to complete during an office visit. The injections are made into the muscles responsible for bruxing by disabling them enough to control severe clenching and grinding, but not enough to disrupt normal functions like speaking and chewing. Patients do not need anesthesia and do not feel much, if any pain, at the injection site.
Botox recipients start seeing results within a few days, and the effect increases until about two weeks after the injection. At this point, the treatment maintains these results for about three months before facial muscles begin to return to their usual sensitivity. Many patients return for treatments on a regular basis to maintain results.
Botox is very safe, with minimal side effects. Some people experience bruising or take longer than the usual few days to see results.