At Cliftonville Dental we treat jaw pain with Botox® and Azzalure® injections, which may be provided to patients following a consultation. They are trade names for Botulinum Toxin Type A, a neurotoxin that is administered by a tiny injection to stop your nerves from sending messages to activate the muscle, without loss of feeling.

It is effective at relieving jaw problems, known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), which are linked to stress and cause teeth grinding (bruxism), debilitating earaches and lockjaw. Tension is eased in the joint by relaxing the jaw muscles, preventing unconscious jaw movement and ending grinding-related headaches. Normal functions such as speaking, swallowing, and biting are left unaffected.Treatment can be repeated three or four times a year and after multiple treatments the effects may last for up to six months.

Bruxism affects about one in four adults in the UK, with symptoms that can include an aching jaw, headaches, gum problems and the erosion of tooth enamel. The pressure on the teeth during grinding can be 20 times greater than when eating and, as a result, incisors can end up shorter with sharp edges and tiny chip marks, canines can become covered in notches and teeth can work loose, with fillings being lost.

Frequently asked questions

What happens in the consultation?

We’ll assess your medical history, make an examination of your facial muscles, your neck and shoulders, take photographs and discuss your expectations.

What happens in the procedure?

Botox injections take 10 to 20 minutes to administer, depending on the amount required. The injections are no more painful than an insect bite or pinprick, and normal activity can be resumed immediately, although strenuous activity should be avoided for 24 hours after treatment. It may take several days to feel the full benefits of the treatment, but the effects last three to four months.

What can Botox® and Azzalure® be used for?

  • TMD
  • teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • lockjaw
  • earache
  • headache
  • jaw pain

Does it hurt?

The injections are no more painful than an insect bite or pinprick. There may be mild temporary bruising, numbness, or redness around the injection sites.

How does it work?

Botulinum Toxin Type A is a neurotoxin in the form of a purified protein and it is injected into muscles to block the transmitters between the motor nerves. Once the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle cannot contract. There is no loss of feeling in the muscles.

How does it work against TMD?

The temporomandibular joint is located where the skull adjoins the jawbone on both sides of the head and it is constantly being used for chewing, biting, speaking and swallowing. The main causes of TMD are jaw displacement and stress-related involuntary jaw movements such as teeth grinding, which often occurs at night without the sufferer being aware. Botulinum Toxin Type A relieves tension in the joint and alleviates:

· headaches caused by night time grinding
· lockjaw
· discomfort when using the jaw
· shoulder and neck pain
· jaw tension

Are there any long term benefits?

Yes, controlling TMD can prevent serious dental problems from occurring later. If left untreated it can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and the loosening of teeth.

What are the possible side effects?

In rare cases patients may experience one or more of the following: headache, temporary blurred vision, temporary eye-lid droop, nausea, pain, redness at the spot of injection, muscle weakness.

Are Botox® and Azzalure® suitable for everyone?

No. A consultation is required and they are just two of many possible treatments that may be recommended. They are not suitable for pregnant and lactating women and cannot be used in conjunction with some other medications.

How long do the results last?

The effects last for three to four months and it takes up to two weeks to see the full results. With repeated treatments three or four times a year the effects of each treatment may start to last longer, in some cases for up to six months.

How much does it cost?

From £350.

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