Do you have pain or popping around your jaw or ears? Perhaps it is painful when you chew, speak, or yawn. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge of the top and bottom jaws. When there are problems with the TMJ, you experience aches throughout your face, head, and neck.
Learn more about Botox for TMJ, how therapeutic Botox works, treatment expectations, and how long it lasts.
Botox treats more than just wrinkles
Botox, which comes from Botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin that is often used as a cosmetic treatment. In the aesthetic field, Botox is used to relax the facial muscles. This reduces the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
However, Botox has therapeutic uses as well.
Although it is considered a toxin, when used in small doses, Botox has medical and cosmetic uses. As a therapeutic treatment, this injection still weakens or freezes the muscles. More specifically, it disrupts the nerve process that signals the target muscle to contract. This results in keeping the muscle from becoming stiff.
When there is inflammation or an issue in the TMJ, it is considered a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can cause mild to severe pain. Common TMJ symptoms include:
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Headaches or pain in the sides of the head
- Pain behind the eyes, face, shoulder, neck, or upper back
- Ear pain
- Popping or clicking in the jaw or in front of the ears
- Lockjaw or jaws that get stuck in an open or closed position
- Swelling in the face
As a treatment for TMJ disorders, Botox relieves symptoms of jaw tension, headaches, and lockjaw. It may be a beneficial procedure for patients who have not had success with other treatment methods.
Migraines and headaches
Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for chronic migraines. Chronic refers to headaches that occur 15 or more days each month. Each migraine lasts four hours or more.
For migraine patients, Botox injections reduce the number of headaches per month, resulting in more pain-free days. The treatment works as a roadblock to keep chemicals and nerve signals from reaching the head and neck.
Multiple injections are needed around the head and neck. Treatments are done every 12 weeks to help dull or prevent the pain from migraine headaches. Patients usually notice improvement two to three weeks after their Botox injections.
Myofascial pain syndrome involves chronic pain associated with a reduced range of motion, localized pain, and tenderness in the muscles. This condition often occurs in the head, neck, arms, and legs, but any muscles can be affected.
As a common form of TMD, patients with myofascial pain may experience discomfort in the connective tissue and muscles controlling the jaw, neck, and shoulders.
In recent years, Botox has been used to alleviate this pain and reduce the number of headaches. With successful Botox treatment, patients have been able to resume a normal life free of their myofascial pain.
TMJ relief with Botox
Since it is used in such small doses and is not digested by the body, cosmetic and therapeutic Botox injections are safe.
Where do they inject Botox for TMJ?
TMJ treatment with Botox is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure. It is performed in our Hermitage office in under 30 minutes. More than one treatment session may be necessary to achieve optimal pain relief.
To treat the symptoms of TMJ, your provider injects Botox into the forehead, temple, and jaw muscles. This helps relax the muscle contractions in those areas. The number of injections needed may vary from patient to patient.
This is a therapeutic treatment targeted to the muscles causing TMJ pain. It does not affect other areas of the body.
How long does Botox for TMJ last?
The treatment itself only takes 10-30 minutes depending on the number of Botox injections needed. Within a few days, patients should start to notice the effects of the treatment. There may be a reduction in wrinkles along with a decrease in the pain and soreness from TMD.
The effects of Botox may last three to six months. Follow-up treatments are needed to maintain the results.
Do dental Botox injections hurt?
Patients who are treated with dental Botox may experience a minor pinch or bug bite sensation during treatment. However, the injections are easily tolerated without anesthetics. A cold pack may be used prior to or following the treatment to help alleviate any discomfort.
Other potential side effects may include:
- Redness at the injection site
- Temporary bruising
- Muscle weakness
Any side effects are usually mild and subside within a week of the injections.
Other treatment options for TMJ pain
If you suffer from TMJ pain, you may try the following at-home treatments to relieve your pain:
- Apply ice or cold packs.
- Use heat or a warm washcloth.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications.
- Eat soft foods.
- Avoid extreme jaw movements.
- Find an outlet for your stress to avoid clenching your jaw.
If you have tried the treatments above without success, seek advice from your dentist.
Your Hermitage dentist can help!
Your dentist may perform x-rays and a physical exam to diagnose TMD. Dr. George may suggest medications, mouthguards, therapies, or Botox to treat your pain symptoms.
Get therapeutic Botox at Dental Bliss Hermitage!
Stop living with the pain and discomfort of TMJ disorders!
At Dental Bliss Hermitage, our team offers therapeutic Botox in Hermitage, TN, including Botox for TMJ and migraines. Dr. George works with you to find a treatment that addresses the source of your pain.
Get TMJ relief today! Book an appointment now.