When Karen, 42 years old, first came to see Dr. Dhai Barr in Lake Oswego she had been suffering from TMJ pain for over 10 years. This pain had started while she was in grad school while dealing with the increased pressure of balancing her family and her studies. Her dentist provided her with a mouth guard to prevent her from grinding and clenching her teeth at night, but she continued to have pain. She woke every morning in pain, and her jaw would never really relax throughout the day.
TMJ can be triggered by multiple causes: malocclusion of the teeth, joint dysfunction and degeneration, and neuromuscular dysfunction. When Dr. Barr, an expert in aesthetic medicine and PRP facelifts examined her, Karen’s pain was so severe that she could barely touch her jaw. The muscles were in spasm and it was clear that the primary contributor to her pain was neuromuscular, and therefore Botox, a neuromuscular modulator, was likely to provide relief.
Dr. Barr injected the Neuromodulator Botox at very low dose. Generally, the response to treatment occurs within the first week and there often is additional benefit as time goes on. When Karen returned to the clinic two weeks later she reported that for the first time in years she was having less pain and was able to touch her jaw without her grimacing. Dr. Dhai injected the Neuromodulators in the remaining areas that were still problematic.
When treating with Neuromodulators (Botox and Dysport) we wait until the effects wear off so that we don’t build up antibodies that could block the benefits.
On her three-month follow up appointment it was decided to increase her dose to see if we could alleviate all the pain. This time when she returned two weeks later for her recheck she reported with amazement that for the first time in years she felt her jaw completely relax and she was able to sleep without waking in pain.
Karen continues to come in for treatment, and over time she has needed to come in less and less. Now, with respite from chronic clenching jaw pain, she has retrained those muscles to stay relaxed and has much better sleep, dramatically less pain, and is able to pursue her interests without distraction.
Karen is just one of many patients that have been in chronic, intractable pain that have benefitted by treatment with neuromodulators. If this sounds like you or someone you care about, please consider this safe and inexpensive option. You’ll be glad you did.
Dr. Dhai Barr
TMJ|Dhai Barr|Lake Oswego|aesthetic medicine|Botox|Portland|Dysport|PRP Facelift|Natural