It affects about one in four adults, with symptoms that can include an aching jaw, headaches, gum problems and the danger of tooth enamel being eroded.
The pressure on the teeth during grinding can be 20 times greater than the force used in normal chewing and biting. As a result, the incisors can end up shorter with sharp edges and tiny chip marks, and the canines can be covered in notches. Teeth can also work loose and fillings be gouged out.
Treatment for bruxism has been basic, with sufferers usually having to wear a mouth guard.
Botox injections, more commonly associated with cosmetic procedures, are now being used as a way of keeping it under control by temporarily reducing the force muscles can provide.
A shallow injection is given on each side of the cheek or temple of Botox.Â It inhibits the release of certain chemicals at the junction between a nerve and Â muscle when injected, so the message for the muscle to work is blocked and it relaxes.
The effects last for about four months. Botox is safe and is approved for treating the painful symptoms caused by muscle spasticity in 20 different neurological conditions.