July 1st, 2017
If you suffer from migraines, you might be surprised that you can get relief from an unexpected person: your dentist.
And you might be even more surprised to hear how they can help: by using Botox.
Most of us think of Botox as a cosmetic injection favored by Hollywood types to smooth out their age lines, but in truth Botox has an array of uses, among them an innovative treatment for migraines.
How does this work?
Botox can be used therapeutically to help relax muscles that contribute to or cause your headaches, especially jaw clenching. Key areas around the head and neck are targeted, focused on shallow muscles (none of the injections are deep).
Interestingly, the exact mechanism by which Botox helps prevent chronic headaches and migraines is not clear. Studies show it works, however, and the FDA approved this treatment in 2010.
How do you know if you’re a candidate?
The fact is that anyone who gets headaches often enough to impact their daily life may be a candidate for this treatment. Be sure to see your primary care doctor first to rule out any medical issues.
Allergies, hormonal imbalances, sleep apnea, and other factors could all play a role in your headaches. If you have headaches 15 days a month or more and are over the age of 18, this treatment may be for you.
Rather than rely on prescription medication to control your headaches, treatment roughly every 12 weeks can help prevent the headaches from happening in the first place. Patients we have treated have reported a decline from near daily migraines to just 1 or 2 minor headaches over the course of several months.
What is the treatment like?
It’s easy and painless. We’ll conduct a neck examination to find areas of muscle soreness. An examination of your teeth will also be done to check for areas of excessive wear, which is a sign of teeth grinding (which you may not even be aware you’re doing and which can contribute to headaches). After being examined, the areas for possible injection will be determined.
Can this treatment be used for anything else?
In fact, yes! Chronic eye twitch, overactive bladder, and other conditions are now considered candidates for treatment with Botox. In many ways, the therapeutic uses of Botox are only now being discovered. Botox has been in wide use since 1989 and has a remarkable track record of safety.
How do I get started?
Just contact our office to set up a consultation. We’ll take it from there and get you on your way towards relief from chronic headaches.