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.
Powerful pain-killing medications known as anesthetics not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure, but post-operatively as well.
Some patients, especially children, may require higher doses of anesthetic than others.
Types of pain-killing medications include:
- Analgesics - These are also called pain relievers and include common non-narcotic medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Analgesics are usually used for mild cases of discomfort, and are typically prescribed following such procedures as a root canal or tooth extraction.
- Anesthetics - Anesthetics can either be topically applied, injected or swallowed. Dentists often apply topical anesthetics with a cotton swab to an area of the mouth where a procedure such as a restoration will be performed. This numbs the affected area. Topical anesthetics are used in many dental procedures such as tooth restoration. Topical anesthetics also are used to prepare an area for injection of an anesthetic. Novocaine and Lidocaine are the most common kind of injectable anesthetics. Such medications block the nerves from transmitting signals and are used for more major types of procedures, such as fillings and root canals.
- Sedatives - Sedatives are medications designed to help a patient relax. This can be a powerful tool in avoiding pain. Sedatives are sometimes used in combination with other types of pain relievers and pain-killers. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a form of sedative. Conscious sedation involves administering a sedative while the patient is alert and awake. Deep sedation or general anesthesia involves administering a medication that places a patient in a state of monitored and controlled unconsciousness.
- Intravenous (IV) sedation - Usually in the form of a tranquilizing agent); patients given IV sedation are often awake, but very relaxed.
- Inhalation sedation - a form of sedation in which a medication (such as nitrous oxide) is administered through a special mask.