Head Pain Treatment
You don't need to suffer from head pain any longer! We offer dental therapeutics for:
Migraine Headache Treatment
No one really knows why migraine headaches strike. But, when they do, they can force you to put your day on pause, take medication, and hide in a dark, quiet room, wishing the pain would go away. Some potential contributors to migraine headaches can be dental related. These include tooth grinding/clenching and TMJ or TMD, which is why dentists are now getting more involved in treating chronic migraine headaches.
Breakthrough in Migraine Headache Treatment
What if you could prevent some of your migraines from happening? That may sound too good to be true, but if you suffer from headaches 15 or more days each month that last four hours or more, there’s a relatively new treatment option available. That treatment is Botox®, a drug better known for use in wrinkle reduction. The FDA approved the use of Botox as a chronic migraine headache treatment in 2010 after studies showed it reduced the number of monthly migraines in those with chronic migraines.
How Does Botox Prevent Migraines?
Botox is used as a preventive migraine headache treatment that will need to be re-injected every 3-6 months. In general, Botox acts as a muscle relaxer, so treatment will help release muscle tension in the head and neck. However, since scientists don’t really understand why people suffer from migraines, it is also unclear exactly why Botox injections help. What we do know is that scientific studies have shown Botox to reduce the number of days with a headache for those with chronic migraines.
Why See Us for Migraine Headache Treatment?
Dr. Kelli Brunk Blank has specialized training through the American Academy of Facial Esthetics in the use of Botox to treat chronic facial and head pain. A variety of dental problems can be the cause of headaches, so it makes sense that a dentist can play an important role in relieving the pain and suffering migraines cause. Because they work extensively with your mouth, dentists are very knowledgeable about the muscle, bone and skin structures of the head. Dr. Kelli’s experience with traditional dentistry also makes her an expert at placing injections in these areas. Let us help you take back your life from headache pain.
Tooth Grinding & Bruxism Treatment
Bruxism is the medical term for tooth grinding or clenching, in response to stress, and can lead to serious dental and health problems. Excessive pressure from tooth grinding often results in damage to teeth, headaches, facial pain, or even development of another condition called TMD (“temperomandibular dysfunction”), commonly referred to as TMJ. Traditional dental care has found ways to treat some symptoms but has not been able to provide a complete answer for people who grind their teeth.
There are three categories of people who grind their teeth that may result in different treatment options.
- Some people find they grind their teeth only at night while sleeping and have also been told that they snore regularly. This combination has been scientifically linked to sleep apnea, and we now offer special therapeutic mouth guards that are recommended as an alternative to CPAP machines.
- Many people only grind at night while asleep, but show no other signs of sleep apnea. In those cases, a bite guard can be worn to prevent damage to the teeth, but it does not address the underlying clenching of the jaw muscles. So, while the teeth are protected, jaw pain, TMJ and headaches may still occur.
- Those who clench their teeth during the daytime, when the use of a bite guard hinders speach, chewing, etc.
Botox® as a Tooth Grinding Treatment
A relatively new Tooth grinding treatment is the use of Botox® injections. Known to most of us as a cosmetic tool used for reducing wrinkles, Botox has actually proven to be a very useful therapeutic treatment for muscle related problems. Small injections of Botox into the muscles of the face act as muscle relaxers, and aid in re-training the muscle to not hyper-respond. While relaxing the jaw muscles isn’t a cure for teeth grinding, Botox has been proven effective at reducing pain and damage from grinding and clenching in scientific studies. Using Botox as a tooth grinding treatment may help reduce or eliminate facial pain, tooth damage and headaches associated with tooth grinding for three to six months per treatment. Treatments take only a short time and consist of several small injections into your jaw muscles. Your ability to smile, eat and talk normally will not be affected. In a couple of days to a week, patients usually feel the difference. Botox has a long history of safety for both cosmetic and therapeutic uses, and often produces few side effects. Dr. Blank has undergone specialized training in the use of Botox, and she is a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics.
TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint) is the common term for any problem with the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to chew. TMJ disorders (also known as TMD) can be painful and difficult to solve.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD may include:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw or ear.
- Jaws that pop, click, or get “locked” open or shut
- Headaches, toothaches and dizziness
Although the exact causes of TMJ are difficult to determine, many cases may be related to stress, which can create overuse or incorrect use of the jaw, ie: clenching or teeth grinding. Common therapies include reducing use of the jaw, steps to prevent teeth grinding/clenching and muscle relaxants. However, TMJ is considered hard to treat because these techniques often don’t completely control pain and locking of the jaw.
Botox® for TMJ and TMD
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, there’s a good chance you’ve tried all the traditional therapies and you are still searching for a conservative, non-surgical solution. A relatively new TMJ treatment is the use of Botox® injections. Botox is most commonly known as a wrinkle remover, but is now used to treat a number of muscle related problems. Botox acts to block the contraction of muscles, making it an excellent solution for stopping muscles from contracting too much.
TMJ treatment with Botox has had promising results, even though it remains classified as experimental by the FDA. Treatment is completed in a few minutes, and involves small injections of Botox into the muscles of the jaw. Within a few days to a week, patients feel the difference as the Botox relaxes the jaw muscles. For many patients, this provides relief from the jaw and headache pain caused by their TMJ. Botox treatments last about 3 months and have a long history of safety.
As a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Dr. Kelli Brunk Blank has undergone specialized training in the use of Botox. In addition, her dental training and practice have provided her with extensive knowledge of how to safely perform injections in the face, head, and neck.