Find relief for your TMJ symptoms.
When most people think of Botox treatment, they immediately think of cosmetics and improving facial wrinkles and frown lines. Interestingly, Botox has several medical applications outside of the cosmetic arena that can improve people’s quality of life. Millions of Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which can range from mild to severe in symptoms. Fortunately, modern dental technology offers improvement using Botox for TMJ relief. If you experience TMJ headaches and pain, Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center can offer safe, comfortable relief.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint connects our skull in front of our ears to our lower jaw. It is a unique joint composed of nerves, blood vessels, and bone that are interconnected and dependent upon each other to function properly. Our TMJ provides two important motions that allow us to speak, chew, and yawn comfortably. One is a rotation and the other is a hinge action.
When one experiences TMJ disorder, it means there may be inflammation around the joint that can cause TMJ symptoms like:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw clicking and popping
- TMJ headaches
- Ear pain
- Stiff jaw muscles when eating
- Locking of the jaw
TMJ pain can be caused by problems ranging from chronic grinding to stress to trauma. Sometimes it is caused by other health conditions, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, because of cartilage destruction. Regardless of the cause, TMJ symptoms can be painful and difficult to manage without proper care.
How does Botox help with teeth grinding?
Botox is a neurotoxin and well-known drug used in cosmetic treatments to reduce frown lines and facial wrinkles. Yet, in dentistry, it has significant benefits for TMJ treatment and migraine headaches. It works as a localized treatment to reduce pain and tension headache symptoms.
When a person grinds their teeth chronically at night, even with the help of a night guard, it can cause severe headaches because your muscles are constantly overworked and overactive. This leads to muscle pain, contractions, and spasms.
Botox works by being injected into the areas around your temporal areas to help relieve muscle contractions. Lactic acids levels are then reduced over the following weeks and months, which is found in overly contracted muscles during headaches. It blocks the electrical signal from the nerve to the muscle so they won’t remain overactive. You will usually notice TMJ pain relief fairly quickly and full effects of Botox after a few weeks.
What can go wrong?
The most common reported side effects are immediate swelling and bruising. These symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few days. Another known adverse side effect is facial asymmetry since Botox is used in cosmetic treatments to alter facial appearance. It is worth going to a dentist with significant experience in administering Botox cosmetically and for medical usage like TMJ disorder to avoid any problems because paralyzed muscles can last up to six months.
Other reported side effects are a temporary headache, muscle weakness, and nausea. These side effects usually appear within a week of treatment.
How often do I need treatment for TMJ?
Patients with TMJ disorder will typically receive treatment two to three times a year because Botox can remain effective for three to five months. Fortunately, Botox treatment can last longer than other types of injectables, like corticosteroids.
In addition to Botox treatment, patients will still require other therapies to aid in pain relief and TMJ disorder management. The most common types of treatment are physical therapy, habit modification, oral appliances, and medications when needed.
How long does it last?
The longevity of Botox treatment can vary from person to person but usually lasts up to five months, which is more effective than other types of short-acting medications and injections. Most people see results after one to two weeks of treatment. The more often you receive Botox treatment for TMJ, the longer the effects will be.
Many people find TMJ pain relief using Botox and discover that it’s a great alternative to TMJ surgery. It is always important to remember that Botox alone may not “cure” your TMJ disorder, but it can provide a much improved quality of life and longer-lasting effects than other types of oral medication.
Will it affect my face wrinkles?
If you receive Botox treatment in an area that has frown lines or wrinkles, you may notice them fade after a few days of treatment. Speak with your skilled dentists at Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center about any concerns you may have to put your mind at ease.
While Botox is well known for its anti-wrinkle abilities, if you are suffering day to day because of TMJ disorder, you may be a good candidate for treatment. Botox is a low-risk and non-invasive treatment that can provide long-lasting relief.