TMJ, Migraines & Dermal Fillers


A migraine is a common type of headache that may have a variety of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and sound. In many people, severe, throbbing pain is isolated to one side of the head. Some patients suffering from migraines have warning symptoms, known as auras before the actual headache begins. The diagnosis for a Migraine usually includes the following criteria: 5 or more headaches within a 3-month span – each lasting between 4 and 72 hours.

Facial injections are more commonly known for smoothing out wrinkles on the face but have been approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults.

Trigger Points

Trigger Points are very tender points in a muscle that are associated with noticeable nodules of tight bands of muscle fiber. Trigger Points can be easily identified by applying pressure to the area. Myalgia will have no referral of pain, meaning the site and source of pain are the same. Myofascial pain will have a pain referral to another location; the site and source of pain are different. Trigger points occur at various sites in the head and neck.


TMJ, TMD, and Myofascial pain refer to different pathologies affecting the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and related facial structures. The TMJ and its associated muscles control chewing and movement of the jaw. It is a hinge joint connecting the mandible to the temporal bone of the skull. TMJ pain is often the result of issues with the joint and/or surrounding muscles, including, but not limited to, grinding/clenching of teeth, the stress in facial muscles, dislocation of the disc, arthritis, or trauma to the jaw.

Symptoms of TMJ related facial pain include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, temples, and shoulders
  • Limited range of motion concerning the jaw
  • Feeling of the jaw being stuck or locked in position
  • Clicking, popping sounds in the jaw when opening and closing
  • Tense muscles in the face and neck
  • Difficulty chewing or feeling teeth aren’t coming together properly


Bruxism is a dental condition in which a person grinds or clenches their teeth together. Often a person suffering from bruxism is unaware as they may unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day or grind them at night, which is called sleep bruxism. Bruxism can range from minor to severe. In some cases, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth, and other head and neck problems. Because many people have sleep bruxism and are unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to pursue regular dental care.

Symptoms of Bruxism include:

  • Grinding or clenching
  • Teeth that are worn down, flat or chipped
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw and facial pain/tightness
  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Damage to the tongue or tissue inside your cheeks

Treatment Options for Facial Pain

Treatment options for facial pain and headaches vary based on the type and cause of pain. It’s beneficial to utilize conservative options when treating facial pain. After receiving a proper diagnosis the treating clinician will determine what treatment plan is best. Treatments options include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, trigger-point injections, therapeutic dermal fillers, ethyl chloride, low-level laser therapy. Dermal Fillers are being used more frequently in dental offices as treatments for bigger issues such as TMD. Studies have shown patients who received these injections experienced significant improvement in pain, function, ability to open their mouth, and levels of tenderness to pressure. Only your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for this treatment, the frequency of injections will depend on the severity of your condition.

Dermal fillers work to treat migraines, TMJ issues, bruxism, and trigger points by chemically deactivating the offending muscle enough to allow it to stop being in spasm. Usually, a series of small injections into the offending muscle is enough to relieve symptoms. Call us at All American Dental in Columbia, MO, to treat your facial pain or provide you with the facial esthetic treatment you desire!

Esthetic Treatment with Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers contain a neurotoxin in the form of a purified protein. The mechanism of action for dermal fillers is really quite simple; it is injected into facial muscles but really doesn’t affect the muscle at all. Dermal Fillers work by blocking the transmitters between the motor nerves that innervate the muscle.

The areas typically treated with dermal fillers for wrinkles are the forehead, between the eyes, around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet), and around the lips. There is no loss of sensory feeling in the muscles. Once the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle cannot contract, causing wrinkles in the skin to smooth. The effects of dermal fillers last approximately three to four months, at which time the patient will require retreatment.

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