Botox For TMJ Treatment – Really?
While Botox is regularly used to banish crows feet, eradicate upper lip wrinkles and correct brow frown lines, a lesser known use is Botox for TMJ disorders. Symptoms of TMJ (or temporo-mandibular joint disorder) are acute or chronic facial pain, earache and headaches and estimates are that it affects over 10 million people worldwide!
Although the exact cause of TMJ remains unclear, dentists believe that it can be attributed to any number of habits, medical conditions or lifestyle-related problems including:
• Teeth grinding (known as bruxism)
• Extreme stress causing a tightening of the facial muscles
• Habits such as nail biting
• Osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or…
• any injury to the head, jaw or neck
While there are various remedies for TMJ pain including a simple mouthguard you might wear at night, right through to jaw surgery, perhaps one remedy that you might not immediately associate with TMJ pain removal is Botox.
As a brand of botulinum toxin, Botox causes a temporary but safe muscle paralysis best used in the reduction of wrinkles. These muscle-paralysing properties can also be used as a form of Botox TMJ treatment in those patients who develop muscular-related TMJ issues. What’s more, although administering Botox for TMJ problems is still in the early stages, the evidence so far indicates that it’s incredibly effective.
How does Botox treat TMJ problems and how does it work?
The temporo-mandibular joint is located at either side of the head where the jawbone and skull meet. It’s used for many common activities such as talking, eating and swallowing. Sometimes the joint can become displaced or overworked, causing anything from acute to chronic pain. When Botox is injected into the area it relaxes the muscle and relieves jaw tension. As a result, the muscles aren’t able to engage in the unconscious jaw movements that cause pain or headaches.
Perhaps the best news for TMJ sufferers is that the process is quick, uncomplicated and effective! More importantly, it’s a non-surgical process that requires little to no recovery time. From experience, we’ve noticed that the vast majority or patients experience little to no jaw pain after botox within 1-2 days of their initial treatment, although in some cases, full pain relief can take up to a week. For many people, to experience no pain for the first time in years means that the botox for TMJ cost is well worth it.
How long does botox for TMJ last?
Botox is a temporary muscle relaxant and not a permanent fix. So patients need to be prepared to come back to us for further treatment every 4-6 months, perhaps on a permanent basis. Therefore if you can think of Botox for TMJ as an effective but temporary solution, then you won’t be far off the mark.
Botox jaw before and after – Am I a good candidate?
While reducing the facial muscles’ ability to engage in problematic grinding, Botox treatment still allows patients to carry out everyday tasks with ease such as talking, chewing and swallowing. That’s the good news….
However, while Botox treatment for TMJ problems is safe, there are certain intoxicants, medications and medical conditions which may minimise and/or hinder the procedure. For this reason it’s vital that patients honestly disclose any type of substance use, medications or medical conditions before treatment.