Bruxism & Orofacial Pain

There is no doubt that bruxism and OroFacial pain is severely debilitating and more prevalent in today’s fast paced and high stress society. We often meet patients who are not even aware that they are suffering from it. Patients usually complain that they have frequent headaches and that their sleep is often interrupted, waking up in the middle of the night. They may feel tired, they report tooth sensitivity to cold, as well as tooth and jaw pain while chewing. In the worst cases patients may present in severe pain with a fractured tooth requiring removal due to the extreme forces of clenching. Long-term sufferers also face a much higher risk of developing Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD). This degenerative and debilitating jaw joint condition can affect quality of life and is difficult to correct even with invasive jaw surgery. Prevention is the key. If any of these symptoms apply to you, it may be time to get checked for Bruxism and OroFacial pain.

Treatment for this condition has traditionally been an occlusal guard (aka night-guard) and in some cases this is certainly the solution. This approach, which works well for patients who grind their teeth, does not always work for those who squeeze their teeth at night (clenchers). In fact a night-guard can actually make matters worse as they do tend to make the wearer squeeze even harder. Night-guards are also difficult for some patients to sleep with making compliance an issue.

In 1998, frustrated with current treatment options for clenching, Dr. Rodriguez began searching for alternatives. That alternative was Botox. Almost overnight patients suffering from Bruxism, Headaches and OroFacial pain got better. As an aside in October 2010, the FDA would officially approve Botox for the treatment of migraine headaches using the same protocol that we began using back in 1998. As a welcome side effect we also noticed that those patient’s who were being treated for their Bruxism with Botox looked fantastic due to Botox’s effect on line and wrinkles of the face. This quickly gave rise to our Facial Esthetics program, which you can read about in Our Services section.

If any of these symptoms apply to you please do not hesitate to ask us what treatment is right for you.