Sleep apnea and TMJ treatments in Ottawa, ON
Most people will be familiar with the use of BOTOX® as a cosmetic treatment. Patients who want to have a younger appearance might use it to help diminish fine lines around the face and smooth out wrinkles. However, BOTOX® can also be used in dentistry to help mitigate facial pain as well as prevent headaches and migraines. This can be especially helpful for patients suffering from a TMJ disorder.
BOTOX® is a botulinum toxin injection administered at specific spots to block nerve transmission, the communication between your nerves and your muscles. This prevents your facial muscles from contracting and allows them to relax completely.
Understanding BOTOX® and TMJ Headaches and Migraines
BOTOX® became FDA-approved for treating patients with chronic migraines in 2010. During a headache or migraine, the brain has a chemical reaction to a trigger. The trigger can be internal or external, such as too much sun, an intense smell, or dehydration. This chemical reaction results in a change in blood flow within the brain which affects the surrounding nerves and causes you to feel pain.
For patients suffering from a TMJ disorder, the misalignment of the jaw may slow the blood flow and fluid movement between your body and head. This provides the trigger for the chemical reaction that causes the pain. BOTOX® is injected around the fibers where the headache or migraine originates, seeps into the nerve endings, and blocks the release of neurotransmitters that would otherwise send pain signals.
Dr. Dahan advocates for the use of BOTOX® to stop the nerve transmission that causes migraines and headaches to occur. He offers BOTOX® therapy to put an end to your painful symptoms and provide lasting relief from chronic migraines and headaches.
BOTOX® therapy from a trained professional is safe and effective, even for long-term use. According to studies, prolonged use does not increase the chances of side effects.
On the whole, side effects from using BOTOX® are uncommon. When they do occur, they usually involve itching, bruising, swelling, or redness at the injection site. These symptoms typically clear up within a few days. In very rare cases, such as an unknown allergy to BOTOX®, more serious side effects can occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a reaction.
How BOTOX® Therapy Works
Studies have shown that using BOTOX® to treat chronic migraine headaches resulted in more pain-free days each month. Regular injections work as a preventative treatment as they stop headaches before they start. The study also found that patients who experienced the most frequent headaches often had the best results.
After your consultation, your first BOTOX® treatment appointment should take approximately 20 minutes. Dr. Dahan will start with 2 treatments that are spaced 12 weeks apart to get a sense of how well you are responding to BOTOX®. Based on your progress, Dr. Dahan will discuss future injections at 12-week intervals.
BOTOX® injections are virtually painless. The most common complaint is a sore neck after treatment, so we recommend using an ice pack to reduce any discomfort.
Before you can get started with treatment, Dr. Dahan will do a comprehensive muscular exam where he’ll identify any trigger points in your neck and head. During the exam, he may ask the following questions:
- How often do you have headaches?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Does anyone in your family suffer from migraines?
Once the trigger points are identified, Dr. Dahan will begin treatment right away. Using a very small needle, he will make around 30 precise injections into seven different muscle groups in your head and neck. Depending on your specific trigger points, the exact number of injections may vary. Most patients say the sensation is like a pinprick or tiny pinch.
While BOTOX® therapy doesn’t require any downtime after treatment, it’s best to avoid:
- Touching the injection site for 24 hours. Rubbing or massaging the area can cause the BOTOX® to spread to nearby muscles.
- Sleeping for at least 4-6 hours
- Strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours
- Drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours
- Taking blood thinners
In two weeks, Dr. Dahan will reassess and review your progress to ensure the therapy is effective. If necessary, he’ll adjust your treatment plan.
The effects of BOTOX® will last around three months. If the treatment is working well for you, Dr. Dahan will schedule regular appointments every twelve weeks to provide consistent pain management.
For some patients, it can take up to six months to experience the full benefits of BOTOX® therapy. In the meantime, Dr. Dahan recommends using your regular medications for pain management.
Yes! Prescribed oral medications for migraine pain won’t interfere with your BOTOX® therapy and they can be used to complement your treatment.
That being said, it’s very important to let Dr. Dahan know about any medications you’re taking during your treatment.
Is BOTOX® Treatment Right For You?
During your consultation and an in-depth look at your medical history, Dr. Dahan may recommend BOTOX® injections to help relieve pain.
- You experience clenching or tight muscles
- You have a limited range of motion due to a TMJ disorder
- You experience migraine headaches on at least 15 days per month
- You have a history of migraine headaches
- You are allergic to any ingredient in BOTOX® or other botulinum toxin products
- You have a severe infection or illness
- You have a skin infection at the planned injection site
- You are breast-feeding or pregnant
- You suffer from any muscle or nerve conditions
Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Therapy
How long do the effects of BOTOX® last?
While the effects of BOTOX® may vary from patient to patient, some see results with their first two injections and feel the beneficial effects for three to six months.
Are there natural ways to treat TMJ pain?
Yes, there are a few natural remedies that may help alleviate TMJ pain. Lifestyle changes can offer temporary relief from your symptoms. With BOTOX® however, you’ll feel the effects immediately as your jaw muscles relax.
Natural remedies you can try include:
- Massage therapy
- Jaw stretching
- Eating soft foods
- Stress management
- Relaxation techniques
- Utilizing heat or cold therapy
- Avoiding sticky or chewy foods
- Avoiding strain on your neck and jaw
Is the therapeutic BOTOX® treatment painful?
No. Dr. Dahan will use a very small needle for your BOTOX® injections. Patients report feeling a momentary pinch or itching sensation that disappears momentarily, but not pain.
Most patients can return immediately to their regular routine.
Does insurance cover BOTOX® treatment?
As BOTOX® is FDA-approved for training chronic migraines, it’s covered by most insurance plans including Medicaid and Medicare. However, for a number of plans, you must have tried (and failed to respond to) two other preventative treatments before qualifying for approval. We recommend contacting your insurance carrier prior to your appointment to check your specific coverage.
Visit Dr. Dahan for BOTOX® Therapy
If you’re suffering from chronic migraines or headaches and facial pain as the result of a TMJ disorder, therapeutic BOTOX® might be right for you. Dr. Dahan provides safe and effective BOTOX® treatments to help his patients reclaim their lives. Call us at (613) 454-1854 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment today.