BOTOX® for Bruxism, TMJ Pain, and Headaches
At Elite Dental & Aesthetics, we understand that teeth grinding (bruxism) is a serious problem that not only negatively impacts teeth and gums, but may also result in headaches, TMJ pain, hearing loss, vertigo, a misshapen jaw line, and more. Dr. Lital Kathein and Dr. Jessica Wyatt are trained to administer therapeutic Botox® injections to help alleviate headaches and TMJ pain.
As a Faculty Member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Dr. Kathein teaches other dentists and doctors on how to use Botox to help alleviate orofacial pain. Botox is a neuromodulator that has been approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults. When treating a patient with TMJ symptoms, we usually provide a combination of treatments, most frequently neuromodulator injections (Botox/Dysport), a bite adjustment, and night-guard therapy.
What causes bruxism?
The general belief is that bruxism is caused by stress and anxiety. The body naturally tenses up when it expects to be bombarded by some type of trauma. Stress often causes us to clench our teeth together. Other known causes include an improper bite which causes the patient to initiate the grinding process. The patient may fall into a habit of clenching his/her teeth in order to feel more comfortable. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring can also start the grinding process because the body is unable to complete a normal sleep cycle.
What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Normally a person does not realize they are suffering from bruxism because the constant grinding becomes a natural part of their everyday experience. Common symptoms include: Waking up at night with your teeth clenched, flattened or chipped teeth, sensitive teeth, gum recession, pain and tightness in the jaws and its muscles, regular ear aches, tension headaches, facial pains, and visual damage to cheek tissue.
If you frequently grind and clench your teeth, you are exercising the masseter muscle, which connects your lower jaw to your cheekbone. This can mean the muscle will become over developed and may result in a broadening of your jaw, giving you a square jawed and masculine appearance.
The doctor will examine your jaw and will help determine if you are suffering from this sometimes-uncontrollable habit. Dental professionals can notice changes in your bite as well unnatural wear and tear on your teeth and gums. Grinding your teeth on a regular basis will prematurely age and loosen your teeth. Other problems such as hypersensitivity will also develop overtime because as the grinding continues, small cracks form, exposing the tooth’s dentin.
How can our doctors at Elite Dental & Aesthetics help treat bruxism?
The most immediate way to treat this dysfunction is to administer Botox at specific dosages in precise locations of the jaw to help alleviate the orofacial pain.
Your bite, or "occlusion", is thoroughly examined and may need to be corrected to improve the situation. In addition, a custom-made night guard may be fabricated for you to wear to sleep at night. We will take an impression of your teeth and send it off to the lab where a night guard will be