Objective: The present study compiled evidence on the efficacy of botulinum toxin A (BTX) for management of bruxism. Methods: A literature review that included randomized control, cohort, as well as observational studies published between January 2000 and November 2022 was conducted. All studies related to BTX injections administered into the masseters of patients with bruxism were included. Primary outcomes were measured by performing a meta-analysis of changes in maximal biting forces and pain severity and meta-regression of the effects of the BTX dose. Results: Ten studies were included for quantitative analysis. The analysis of the maximal biting force after BTX injections demonstrated a significant reduction at 1 month or less compared with both oral splints (P < 0.000001) and saline injections (P = 0.01). BTX continued to outperform oral splinting (P = 0.001) and saline placebos (P = 0.03) at 3 months. Between 3 and 6 months, a significantly higher maximal biting strength was observed in the BTX group than the oral splinting group (P < 0.00001). No significant differences in the maximal biting force were observed between the BTX and saline placebo groups (P = 0.50). A similar trend was observed in the analysis of pain reduction after botulinum treatment. Additionally, for every unit increase in the BTX dose, pain severity decreased by 0.0831 points (P = 0.0011). Conclusion: BTX is effective in reducing biting strength and pain severity. BTX effects are evident at less than 4 weeks, peak between 5 and 8 weeks, and last for up to 24 weeks. Higher BTX doses result in greater improvement in pain. Although BTX benefits manifest earlier, they gradually diminish, and oral splinting exerts a more enduring effect, especially after 9–12 weeks. BTX injections into masseters are recommended as management options for bruxers, especially for those having difficulties complying with wearing oral splints or those seeking earlier symptom relief. However, future studies should determine BTX effects beyond 24 weeks and after repetitive injections and how bruxers of different ages or genders respond to treatment. Level of Evidence III: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-790
Number of pages16
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Botulinum toxin A
  • Bruxism
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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