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. Elizabeth Kossak 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, recession in the teeth, pain and tightness in the jaws and its muscles, regular ear aches, tension headaches, facial pains and visual damaged to cheek tissue.
If you grind and clench your teeth a lot, you are exercising the masseter muscle, which is situated at the angle of your jaw. This can mean the muscle will become over developed and resulting in a broadening of your jaw, giving you a more 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 are able to 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 and the tooth’s dentin becomes exposed.
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, 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 manufactured to exactly fit the shape of your teeth. When you return to the office, we will make some minor adjustments to the night guard making sure your jaw is moving properly and your bite remains healthy. When the night guard is in place your teeth will no longer make contact with each other at night and the grinding will not be able to damage your enamel.
More information on TMJ Pain
TMJ, TMD, and 'myofascial pain' refer to different pathologies affecting the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and related facial structures.
The TMJ and its associated muscles control chewing and movement of the jaw. It is a hinge joint connecting the mandible to the temporal bone of the skull. TMJ pain is often the result of issues with the joint and/or surrounding muscles including, but not limited to, grinding/clenching of teeth, stress in facial muscles, dislocation of the disc, arthritis or trauma to the jaw. Symptoms of TMJ related facial pain include:
Additional treatment options for facial pain and headaches vary based on the type and cause of pain. Other options for TMJ pain include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, ethyl chloride, and low level laser therapy. TENS and laser light wave therapy send low levels of electrical or radio waves of energy to the affected area to stimulate blood flow to the joint and surrounding area. Call us today for a consulation regarding your TMJ pain or headaches.
My visit was very pleasant. I had a root canal and it wasn't painful at all. Dr. Kossak talked me through the procedure and the dental assistant was great too. -Natasha C.
I had horrible headaches until Dr. Kathein recommended I try Botox. What a difference!! I thought it was only for facial changes...but it was a life saver. - Kimberly H.
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