HealthDay News — Onabotulinum toxin-A (BoNT-A) injections can improve sleep bruxism, according to a study published online in Neurology.

William G. Ondo, MD, from the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, and colleagues recruited 31 patients aged 18 to 85 years with clinically diagnosed sleep bruxism confirmed by polysomnography. Twenty-three patients were randomized to either BoNT-A injection (13 patients) or placebo (10 patients; nine completed the study). Participants were assessed at 4 to 8 weeks after the initial treatment visit.

The researchers found that clinical global impression (P <.05) and visual analog scale of change (P <.05) in bruxism and in pain favored the BoNT-A group. There was no significant change in any exploratory end points; total sleep time and number/duration of bruxing episodes favored the BoNT-A group. A cosmetic change in smile was reported by 2 participants randomized to BoNT-A. There were no reports of dysphagia or masticatory adverse events.

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“BoNT-A effectively and safely improved sleep bruxism in this placebo-controlled pilot trial,” the authors write. “A large multicenter trial is needed to confirm these encouraging data.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Allergan; Allergan Pharmaceuticals funded the study.


Ondo WG, Simmons JH, Shahid MH, Hashem V, Hunter C, Jankovic J. Onabotulinum toxin-A injections for sleep bruxism: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study [published online January 17, 2018]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004951