Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause jaw tension, pain, and discomfort. The specialists at Oral Surgery Associates use Botox as an alternative treatment for relieving TMJ pain and discomfort.
TMJ Treatment with Botox
Anti-inflammatory drugs, hot or cold packs, and massage therapy are some of the traditional ways of treating temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). But many patients don’t get relief from traditional methods. Botox treatment for TMJ has provided rapid, long-lasting relief for many patients who have had limited success with traditional treatment.
How Does It Work?
The TMJ is on the side of your head and connects the skull and jawbone. The joint helps the jawbone move as you speak, chew, or yawn. Overworked, injured, or defective jaw muscles put stress on the TMJ area and cause tension and pain. Botox injections help the jaw muscles relax. What can you expect with treatment?
- Your Oral Surgery Associates doctor will review your medical and prescription history to ensure you’re a candidate for this treatment.
- A local anesthetic is applied to the injection sites to ensure your comfort.
- Quick small injections are placed in the chewing muscles (masseter and temporalis) to reduce tension and pain.
- Most patients start feeling relief within 24-48 hours, and symptoms continue to improve over the next week.
- Botox treatment for TMJ disorders is usually completed within 30 minutes.
- You’ll continue to experience relief for up to three months. After that, the treatment needs to be repeated.
The video below from the TV show, The Doctors, explains how Botox helps relieve TMJ symptoms.
What Causes TMD?
For some patients, the cause of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) isn’t clear. Some of the known causes include:
- Arthritis that damages the joint cartilage
- Autoimmune diseases (immune cells attack healthy tissue)
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Dental procedures (including prolonged mouth opening)
- Insertion of a breathing tube before surgery
- Jaw trauma
- Repeated tightening of your facial and jaw muscles due to stress
Is It Really a TMJ Issue?
Botox injections can relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder. But how do you really know if you have a TMJ issue? Some common symptoms include:
- A bite that feels displaced, or “off”
- Chronic headaches
- Ear pain, pressure, or ringing
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Jaw stiffness, locking, or limited movement
- Jaw pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Vision problems
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a TMJ issue. After a thorough examination, one of our specialists will determine the cause of your discomfort and pain and provide an accurate diagnosis. He or she will let you know if Botox is the appropriate treatment for it. Call us to schedule an appointment for an exam, or request an appointment online.