Headaches In Children
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.
Numerous children today suffer from headaches, which are frequently caused by a structural imbalance between the upper and lower jaws. The three main types of structural imbalances include a narrow upper arch, a deficient lower jaw and patients who have a vertical problem, evidenced by a deep overbite. A high percentage of these children who suffer from these structural imbalances will have some of the following:
- Tired Jaws
- Sore Teeth
- Worn Teeth
- Neck Ache
- Clicking Jaw Joints
- Ear Ache
- Ringing in the Ears
- Facial Deformity
If the jaws become tired after chewing gum or eating chewy foods, this is one of the earliest signs that something is wrong with the functioning of the chewing system. The human jaw is so well designed that it is impossible for the jaws to become tired unless the jaws are not properly aligned. The most common problem is a lower jaw, which is deficient or well behind the upper jaw. These patients appear to have protruding upper teeth but in the majority of these cases the lower jaw is positioned behind the upper jaw. If any tiredness of the lower jaw should occur, the child should be examined by a dentist trained in the area of TM Dysfunction (TMJ) a jaw joint problem.
Jaw joint (TMJ) problems are beginning to develop when a child experiences headaches. Pain from headaches is not normal, especially in young children. Normal children are healthy, pain-free and have relatively low stress levels. Therefore, headaches that do occur are a sign that the system is overloaded. Headaches of once or twice a month can easily be an early warning sign that should be taken seriously.
Poor posture combined with a jaw problem significantly overloads neck muscles creating pain and discomfort. These problems tend to get worse as the children get older if the structural problems, as discussed previously, are not corrected. Early evaluation and treatment can go a long way to providing a lifetime of better health and comfort for our young patients.
If your children have any of the above problems, please consider making an appointment with a dentist. For an assessment appointment please call our office.