Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
The same BOTOX that smooths facial wrinkles also prevents the muscle contractions that can trigger migraines.
BOTOX, highly diluted botulinium toxin, works to prevent migraine by blocking the release of a chemical in muscle cells that transmits the signal to contract to muscle fibers. Research into using BOTOX to treat migraines began after patients receiving it for other conditions reported improvement in their migraine symptoms. In 2010, after years of research and collecting clinical data, the FDA approved BOTOX for treating chronic migraines.
BOTOX is administered about every three months, relaxing the surrounding muscles so that they won’t compress the nerve and trigger a migraine. It is a potent drug, and we only recommend using it if other preventative treatment options haven’t helped you. It is generally only administered to patients who have at least 14 headaches a month, or don’t respond to other treatments.
You can now decrease teeth grinding (Bruxism) with BOTOX. Bite splints worn at night can protect the teeth and TM joints from the intensity of grinding at night. However, BOTOX injection into specific muscles has been shown to decrease the intensity itself, thus reducing pain.
TRIGGER POINT TREATMENT
Trigger points are focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. These knots produce pain locally and in a referred pattern. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points. Trigger points may lead to face, neck and shoulder pain, tension headache, tinnitus, and temporomandibular joint pain. Palpation of the trigger point will elicit pain directly over the affected area and/or cause radiation of pain toward a zone of reference and a local twitch response. Trigger point injections using a combination of Botox and local anesthetic have been shown to be one of the most effective treatment modalities to inactivate trigger points and provide prompt relief of symptoms.
However, teeth grinding can literally transform your bite relationship and worse, severely damage your teeth and jaws over long periods of time.
Teeth grinding can cause abrasion to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. This abnormal wear and tear will prematurely age and loosen your teeth, and open them to problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin.) Bruxism can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.
If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:
- Your jaw is often sore, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.
- Your teeth look abnormally short or worn down.
- You notice small dents in your tongue.