Friday, June 25, 2010
Medical Reports: Shot at Relief
Botox isn't just for smoothing out wrinkles. It's now helping people who grind or clench their teeth at night. 7's Diana Diaz shows us how botox injections are offering patients a shot at relief.
WSVN -- Michelle Davis has three small reasons to be stressed out on a daily basis.
Michelle Davis: "I have three boys under the age of nine. I'm constantly chasing them around."
And most parents will says some days can really grind on your nerves.
Michelle Davis: "When my children are not listening to me, I feel my entire jaw just getting all tensed up."
Unfortunately, for Michelle all that built-up stress comes out when she goes to sleep. She grinds and clenches her teeth at night.
Michelle Davis: "I would wake up in the morning with intense pain in my jaw. There were times I would wake up in the middle of the night with an excruciating migraine."
It's not just painful, all that force from grinding and clenching can mean big trouble for your jaw and teeth.
Michelle Davis: "I was concerned that the grinding would damage the top enamel."
Dr. Allan Herskowitz, Neurologist: "The grinding is almost always caused by muscle spasms of the jaw, which then over a period of time, cause pressure on the teeth and can change the bite."
Now, neurologists like Allan Herskowitz are giving patients who grind or clench their teeth a shot at relief with an injection of botox.
Dr. Allan Herskowitz: "Botox is a muscle relaxant. It's placed directly into the muscles that are involved, the muscles that control the jaw movement. It puts them basically at rest."
Doctors say the injections are usually quick and painless.
Dr. Allan Herskowitz: "We would do an injection into muscles here, above and below where this joint is."
Don't worry even though your muscles are relaxed you can still move your mouth and jaw.
Dr. Allan Herskowitz: "They can still talk. They can chew. They can eat, but they don't get the intense contraction or clenching that they do at night."
And unlike when botox is used to treat wrinkles, one or two injections should do the trick.
Dr. Allan Herskowitz: "It puts the muscles at rest for a prolonged period of time for three to six months, and that gives the muscles time to heal and realign."
For Michelle, the shot of botox instantly relaxed her jaw.
Michelle Davis: "It stopped my migraines. It stopped me waking up in the middle of the night with the pain. I never would have thought that Botox would have helped my jaw, but it really did."
Keep in mind, this is usually a last option for patients when mouth guards and pain relievers don't work. Some insurances will pay for it.
For More Info:
Dr. Allan Herskowitz
9090 Southwest 87th Court
Miami, FL 33176-2315