Botox for TMJ
When you open your mouth to yawn, does a sudden series of cracks and pops coming from your jaw catch your attention? Are you waking up with pain and tenderness in your jaw, pain that may radiate either up to your ears or down to your shoulders? Does it sometimes feel like your jaw locks, making it harder for you to close it?
If you are noticing any of these signs, especially accompanied by pain and discomfort when chewing, then there is a good chance that you are suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. While the exact cause of TMJ dysfunction is not very well understood, fortunately,, there are many different treatment options available to patients who suffer from it. One such option that we here at Raptou Family Dental like to offer is Botox.
How Can Botox Help My TMJ?
TMJ disorder is quite common, affecting over 10 million Americans annually. It occurs when the joint that attaches the jaw to the rest of the face stops functioning properly. It can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as stress, grinding your teeth at night (bruxism), chewing gum, and arthritis. While changing one’s lifestyle can often help treat the symptoms of it, it is not always guaranteed. That is where Botox steps in.
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Botox, but its wide variety of uses are not very well understood. While many people know that it is used as a cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it is growing in popularity as a good choice of treatment for TMJ pain.
The same mechanism of action that makes Botox work on treating wrinkles makes it a fantastic treatment for TMJ disorder. One of the many causes of TMJ is a pain in the muscles and nerves around the jaw. Botox works by blocking the signals from these nerves that would go to the muscles, causing them to relax. In turn, the pain is greatly reduced.
The effects of Botox for TMJ disorder is almost immediate. Many patients report that they notice that their pain is fading within the same day of the injection. For many patients, the problems with the locking jaw starting to disappear, too. When a person grinds their teeth at night (known as bruxism), this can also lead to pain in the TMJ. Botox can stop the grinding from occurring, preventing the pain in the joint.
Getting Botox done in our office is an incredibly easy and safe procedure. It is both non-surgical and outpatient and can be completed in just one brief appointment, which usually takes less than a half hour. During the procedure, we will inject the Botox directly into your affected areas, including your jaw, your forehead, and your temples. It does not hurt, but there may be a slight pinching sensation at the injection site.
While the goal of Botox for TMJ is not necessarily to improve your appearance, many patients find that it does soften their face, getting rid of the harsh “square” shape that their jaw can take on after constantly clenching for a long duration of time.
Want To Learn More?
If you have TMJ dysfunction and are interested in learning more about how Botox can help you get relief, and you are interested in setting up an appointment with us here at Raptou Family Dental, please give us a call at (614) 427-0449 today!