Do you get headaches? You are not alone - about 96 percent of people has had a headache at some point in life. A headache can ruin your day; chronic or severe headaches can seriously interfere with your life. Fortunately, your dentist in Bloomington can help cure headaches!
Migraines are an especially severe form of headache that can last up to 72 hours if left untreated. About 10 percent of people worldwide get migraine headaches; more than 17 percent of women and 5 percent of men in the United States report having migraines.
Doctors categorize migraines as being either episodic or chronic. Patients who have episodic migraines get these severe headaches on fewer than 15 days a month. Those with chronic migraines experience these headaches on 15 or more days a month for 3 or more consecutive months. Episodic migraines can progress to chronic migraines, which mean you can experience migraines more often.
Many people try to manage their migraines with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers, such as opioids, barbiturates, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some patients use triptans, which are prescription medications for migraines. Unfortunately, overuse of these medications can cause episodic migraines to progress to chronic ones.
To get their migraines under control, many people are turning to Botox injections. For years, doctors have been administering Botox to treat many other conditions, such as:
- Excessive muscle contractions (dystonia)
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Excessive sweating
- Eyelid twitching
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
- Spasms or stiffness in the arms and/or legs, known as adult spasticity
- Upper limb spasticity in children
- Cervical dystonia (excessive muscle contractions of the cervix)
In 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Botox for the treatment of chronic migraines in adults. The availability of Botox injections to treat migraines has been a game-changer for people who experience these severe headaches.
Botox Dentist in Bloomington Answers Questions about Botox Injections for Migraines
What is Botox?
Botox is a botulinum toxin-based drug, which means it contains a chemical produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxins occur naturally in soil and contaminated foods. If someone were to eat large amounts of botulinum toxins or gets the bacteria in a wound, they can develop botulism, which is a serious nervous system condition that affects breathing.
To ensure optimal safety and effectiveness, highly trained technicians produce the botulinum toxin used in Botox in a laboratory. The technicians sterilize and dilute the botulinum toxins to prevent the chemicals from causing botulism.
How does Botox work?
Special nerves, known as pain fibers, deliver messages of pain from your body to your brain. Headaches and migraines develop when these pain fibers react to certain triggers, such as stress or some odors.
To treat migraines, healthcare professionals inject Botox around the pain fibers involved in headaches. Botox enters the nerve endings and blocks the chemicals involved in transmitting messages of pain.
What should I expect from Botox treatments for migraines?
Treatments take place at your dentist’s Bloomington office. A treatment typically takes less than 20 minutes. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the frequency at which you get migraines and your response to treatment, our dentist may recommend Botox injections for migraines every three months. You can experience results in as little as 4 weeks after treatment.
Botox treatment for migraines involves multiple injections into your forehead, temple area, back of your head, upper neck, and shoulders. While this might seem alarming, it is helpful to know that the healthcare professional uses a very tiny needle to inject the medicine just beneath the surface of the skin. Most people tolerate the injections very well.
The injections themselves take only 10 to 15 minutes, although your appointment may be longer. We like to take time to learn about your migraine experience, discuss your headache patterns, explain the procedure, and provide you with time to ask questions.
Are there any special preparations for Botox injections for migraines?
There are no special preparations needed prior to your appointment. It is best to come without makeup to reduce the chance of infection, but we will thoroughly clean your skin before your Botox treatment.
Perhaps the best benefit of Botox for migraines is that it provides real relief from these severe headaches. Other benefits include having to take pain relievers and other medications less often.
How long do the benefits last?
A Botox treatment generally lasts for 10 to 12 weeks. Repeating treatments improves results – two Botox treatments can reduce the number of headache days by 50 percent.
Is Botox safe?
While botulinum toxin is dangerous, Botox is safe when administered by a licensed and experienced healthcare provider, such as your Bloomington dentist.
Why should I see a dentist for Botox treatments for my headaches?
Dentists already administer Botox for the treatment of dental conditions, such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), teeth grinding (bruxism), high lip line or “gummy smiles,” and dentures that fit poorly due to shifting jaw muscles. Because dentists already have vast experience in the administration of Botox, they are well-equipped to provide this important health service.
For more information about Botox injections for migraines, consult with our Botox dentist at Liberty Family Dentistry. We are glad to help you determine if Botox for migraine headaches is right for you.