Botox Injection Therapy

Treatment with botulinum toxin type A, which is more commonly known as Botox, is generally associated with cosmetic procedures — to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to make one appear younger by recreating the firmness of youthful skin.

This is done by effectively paralyzing the muscles in the affected area, and this cosmetic treatment has been shown to have a therapeutic application for the treatment of certain types of migraines.

Botox treatment is effective for tension-type headaches where the pain is caused, in large part, by persistent and chronic muscle contraction. By partially paralyzing the area using Botox injections, a certified practitioner can significantly lessen the pain.

It is important to note that not all headaches and migraines respond as well to Botox treatment. While tension and muscle-related headaches have shown favourable responses, other types (such as those that present with stabbing sensations in the cheek and next to the eye) are not as successfully treated with Botox.

A good rule of thumb is that migraines and headaches that present as an inward pressure (compression, crushing, squeezing sensations) have a much higher response rate (greater than 80 per cent) than those presenting with outward pressure (exploding sensations), which show less than a 15 per cent response rate.

Each case presents differently and we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that specifically addresses the type of migraines from which you suffer and the locations in which they manifest. Our staff are very knowledgeable in the field and will take the time to discuss with you the treatment options available to you and whether you are a candidate for Botox treatment.

Please contact us at Royal York Orthodontics to learn more about Botox treatment of migraine headaches or follow the link to the Botox Information Site botoxtrainingfordentists.ca.

Tension Headaches

It’s safe to say that most people will experience a tension headache at one time or another in their lives — and likely more often than that. While many tension headaches can be treated easily with over-the-counter medications, rest, or relaxation techniques, there are some headaches that are more severe and/or persistent in nature, which may require other techniques to relieve.

Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, are the most common type of headaches affecting adults. There are two main types of tension headaches: episodic, which are generally mild to moderate in severity and occur less than 15 days per month; and chronic, which occur more than 15 times per month and are identified by pain that increases and decreases in severity, but persists for a prolonged period of time.

Episodic tension headaches tend to be more common and less severe. They are identified by mild-to-moderate pain around the forehead or back of the head and neck. They can last for as little as a half hour or, in more severe cases, can last for days.

Chronic tension headaches generally present around the front, top, or sides of the head. They are identified by a throbbing type of pain and while the pain may subside a bit, it does not actually cease.

What causes tension headaches?

There are a number of factors that can either cause or exacerbate tension headaches. The most common reasons are fatigue, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, and anxiety. Often caused by muscle tension, these headaches can also be related to overexertion and posture issues.

How are tension headaches treated?

Depending upon the severity of the headache, there are a number of ways, both medicinal and environmental, that have proven to be effective.

The most common treatment for many are over-the-counter pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and Naproxen (Aleve) have all proven to be effective for mild-to-moderate tension headaches.

For more severe or persistent headaches, a complete evaluation of the myofacial tissues is recommended. Based upon these findings, a nightguard, orthodontic therapy, relief of muscle tension with Botox Injections, or combination therapy can be prescribed.

The one thing to stress is that it’s never “just a headache.” Although often described as minor or moderate, tension headaches can be debilitating and impact one’s quality of life. They can cause nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and impact sleep. Treatment at the early onset of symptoms is always the best strategy, but we strongly encourage anyone who is concerned about the severity or frequency of their headaches to contact a medical/dental professional.

TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ, can have significant and long-term repercussions both your physical and mental well-being. TMJ disorders, while related to problems with the jaw joint and the muscles of mastication, can also result serious dental damage.

What is TMJ?

Essentially, the temporomandibular joints are those areas directly in front of the ear where your upper and lower jaws meet. You can think of the TMJ as a hinge, allowing the upper jaw to close, but it’s more accurately described as a sliding ball and socket joint, with a disc in between. It’s also a well-used joint, as it’s responsible for moving the jaw when biting, chewing, talking, and yawing. It’s under tremendous stress throughout the day, but when working efficiently, the TMJ allows us to perform all of these actions without pain. However, if something in this complex collection of muscles, tendons, and joints is out of place, then a number of problems can arise.

What are TMJ disorders?

There are a number of conditions that fall into this category: clicking sounds in the jaw, ear pain, headaches, malocclusion (bite issues), and stiffness.

These symptoms, if caused by TMJ disorders, can be chronic and in some cases go misdiagnosed as they are seemingly unrelated to a jaw disorder. For example, approximately half of patients with a TMJ disorder report having ear pain; 40 per cent say they experience dizziness; a third present with either tinnitus (ringing in the ear) or a sensation fullness of the ear. In some cases, patients are misdiagnosed with an ear infection. And, in fact, in many cases TMJ disorders are diagnosed by ear specialists.

What causes TMJ disorder?

There are a number of factors that can lead to the development of a TMJ disorder. These factors can be present for years before the development of any TMJ symptoms and early detection and treatment can help prevent the development of TMJ disorders.

Teeth grinding and clenching are strong contributors to TMJ disorders. What makes these most challenging to combat is that often the patient is unaware of the behaviour. Frequently, it will be a spouse who notices grinding during the night; or a dental professional detecting signs of wear and tear on the teeth.

Bite issues (malocclusion) also can contribute to the development of TMJ disorders. Overcompensating for a deficient bite on one side of the jaw, can tax the other side and result in TMJ problems.

Other contributing factors include: habitual gum chewing/nail biting; jaw trauma, including fractures in the jaw or facial bones; stress, and repetitive occupational behaviours, such as holding a telephone between the head and shoulders.

TMJ disorder treatments

Depending upon the severity of the disorder, treatment for TMJ disorders can range from rest and ice to surgery. From TMJ disorders resulting from bite issues and teeth grinding, a dental professional can help to alleviate symptoms and rectify the contributing factors.

Some disorders can be treated using custom-made appliances, frequently worn at night, to eliminate teeth grinding and/or clenching. Other cases require corrective dental therapy, such as orthodontics, to repair abnormal bites and ensure proper alignment of the teeth. Treatment with Invisalign aligners while eliminating interferences from malpositioned teeth, can also provide relief by acting as night guards. In many cases, injecting Botox into jaw muscles alone or as an adjunct to an orthodontic appliance, may provide dramatic relief to patients.

We strongly encourage anyone who is concerned about TMJ disorders to contact us at Royal York Orthodontics to discuss both diagnosis and treatment options. Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have and explore your options.

Success Stories

We know that the most effective advertisements for the experts at Royal York Orthodontics come from the testimonials of the people we’ve had the pleasure of helping.

Peruse the following success stories from people just like you who turned to Toronto’s leading authority on dental and orthodontic care. We believe that a healthy and beautiful smile can make a world of difference! Please read the following stories and see how we helped these patients put their best faces forward.

“I’ve had migraines for 26 years. I’ve tried every migraine medication with no success. They either didn’t work or the side effects were intolerable. This migraine has lasted 1 year. I received Botox injections and woke up the next morning with no pain. Finally relief with relatively little side effects. I would recommend this to anyone who has minimal relief from typical migraine medications.”

“I had a constant 24/7 headache for two years straight before trying Botox. I tried every other conceivable medication to no avail, but Botox cut my pain to a third of its previous level. I still get injections every four months or so, but it’s been three years and I still have the much lower pain level, can work, and am thankful everyday for Botox.”

“I’m very grateful the FDA approved this! I’ve suffered with debilitating migraines for 25 years now and have tried every medication prescribed and OTC, unfortunately the only thing that would take away the pain are narcotics. Since using Botox treatments my migraines are under control and down to approximately 4-5 a month compared to 20-25. I feel as though I have a life again and not living hour to hour, not having a life in fear of having a migraine. Also VERY grateful to have good insurance that pays for this.”