May 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Botox, which was first introduced in 1989, is most commonly known for its cosmetic use to improve the look of frown lines between the eyebrows. However, Botox has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of certain medical conditions, including the treatment of eye muscle problems (called strabismus), abnormal spasm of the eyelids (called blepharospasm), excessive sweating, and chronic migraines.
Could another medicinal use be on the horizon? A small study has found that Botox may be helpful in preventing nighttime teeth grinding, known in medical circles as nocturnal bruxism.
During the study, 23 patients, who were confirmed to have night time teeth grinding from a sleep study, were randomly assigned to a placebo or Botox injection. Those that received the Botox had the injection in their jaw and temple. Those study participants that received the Botox injections reported improvements in their teeth grinding condition versus those who had the placebo injections.
To date there is no established treatment for teeth grinding at night. While dental guards help to protect the teeth from damage, they do not actually prevent the teeth grinding itself, said study researcher Dr. William Ondo, who is also a professor of neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
It’s estimated that up to 15 percent of people experience nighttime teeth grinding, though a good many are unaware they have the condition unless their dentist or sleep partner told them. Besides damaging teeth, teeth grinding can cause jaw pain and headaches.
Because Botox is used for other issues, Botox can be used off-label by medical professional for other uses, including nighttime teeth grinding. Yet, larger studies are needed before Botox can ultimately be claimed to be an effective treatment therapy for nighttime teeth grind or become an approved treatment for nocturnal bruxism by the FDA.
The study findings were presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting.
Pharmacy Headquarters Blog (PharmacyHeadquarters.com) Editorial Staff Copyright 2012 – All rights reserved