Botox for Treatment of TMJ Disorder
One of the most exciting developments in treatment for TMJ disorder is Botox. The use of Botox may temporarily solve the problem of TMD. However, Botox injections are considered an alternative treatment of TMD. Botox does not treat the root cause of the TMJ disorder.
The Botox, used in controlled doses, relaxes or paralyzes targeted muscles, relieving pain and giving the temporomandibular joint, surrounding muscles, and ligaments time to heal. The effect of a single Botox session can last for three to five months, reducing the need for pain medications.
Why is Botox an Effective Treatment for TMJ Disorders?
When Botox is injected into specific points in and around the temporomandibular joint, temples, and forehead. These injections temporarily relax the muscles that control teeth clenching and grinding. The relaxing of the muscles also allows the inflammation around the temporomandibular joint to subside. Once facial pain, headache, swelling, and discomfort are under control, you can more easily address other outside stressors that increase TMD symptoms. The result is less pain and a greater range of movement. For patients whose TMJ is related to teeth grinding or jaw clenching, Botox can bring substantial relief. Many patients report their pain is reduced by 90% or more.
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Who Benefits from Botox for TMJ?
Botox for TMD treatment is not for every patient with TMJ Disorder. However, if you are suffering from one or more of the following symptoms consult with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for Botox:
- Jaw pain(may be achy or sharp)
- Popping or clicking in the jaw when chewing or talking(can often be painful)
- Limited ability to open or close the Jaw(lockjaw)
- Swelling in the face
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Headaches/migraines and toothaches
- Earaches and ringing in the ears
What Symptoms Subside After Botox for TMJ?
Botox diminishes headaches and relieves painful tension in the neck and shoulders. It also alleviates jaw pain and can loosen up a locked jaw. Whatever pain is caused by tight muscles around the jaw or chronic grinding or clenching of the teeth can be reduced with Botox injections.
How Long Does the Relief Last?
Botox injections typically last for between three and five months. Patients who get the injections begin to feel the effects within a few days, although it may take up to a week before it reaches full effectiveness.
We recommend repeating the Botox injections every three months to four months to maintain full effectiveness. Do not wait until you are in serious pain. Waiting too long between treatments can diminish this effect. Since the Botox takes several days to reach full therapeutic effect, you prolong your discomfort.
Many patients take advantage of the temporary relief from Botox to address the root causes of their TMJ. When they are not in pain, they can develop relaxation techniques, go to physical therapy, and try using a splint or oral device in conjunction with their Botox injections for more significant overall relief.
What are Botox Injections for TMJ Treatment Like?
Determining where and how many injections you need is the first step. Most injections are given in the jawline, temples, and forehead, but other affected cranial areas may also need injections. At Main Line Dental Group, we work carefully with our patients to create a customized plan for your Botox treatments.
The injections are given just under the skin’s surface and feel like a bee sting or pinprick. Discomfort is mild, similar to a bruise. You can return to your daily activities immediately after receiving your injections. If you do feel uncomfortable, ice packs are helpful. Avoid rubbing your face or lying down for a few hours after the injections.
Dr. Woo at Main Line Dental Group offers customized Botox injections to patients with TMJ Disorder related to muscle tension and clenching or grinding. We will determine the appropriate dosage and injection locations for optimal relief at your initial consultation.