Many times patients call with questions about how we approach TMJ treatments and what solutions we have to improve TMJ symptoms.
Our approach is holistic and each patient is different. We use Acupressure techniques, massage, occlusal adjustment, mobilization of the joint (when the jaw is locked) and sometime Botox ® treatments.
BOTOX® Treatment for Jaw Tension and TMJ
BOTOX® is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders and associated jaw tension and pain. When injected into facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort, BOTOX® relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients. The injections often eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding, and, in cases of severe stress, BOTOX® can even minimize lock jaw. Although BOTOX® treatment for these conditions is presently experimental; evidence indicates that it can be extremely effective.
How Does BOTOX® Treat Jaw Tension and TMJ Disorder?
Located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is used during talking, eating, swallowing, and other everyday activities. If this joint becomes displaced or is overworked through excessive teeth grinding, a person may suffer severe tension headaches, as well as sharp pain in the jaw. BOTOX® relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.
The BOTOX® alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. A non-surgical procedure, BOTOX® injections are administered in a doctor’s office and treatment requires no hospital stay. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week.
Areas Affected by TMJ Botulinum Toxin Therapy
Only the areas injected with Botulinum Toxin will be “relaxed.” Botulinum Toxin treatment for TMJ therapy will not affect anywhere else in your body. The injections are mainly in the temporalis, frontalis and masseter (see picture below) additional sites may be injected with Botulinum Toxins depending on the severity of the headaches.
How long is the Botulinum Toxin Treatment Procedure?
The length of the Botulinum Toxin treatment procedure depends on the number of injections needed as determined by the doctor. Still, it is reasonable for the treatment procedure to be completed within 10-30 minutes.
Is the Botulinum Toxin Treatment Painful?
The pain associated with the Botulinum Toxin TMJ Treatment procedure is due to the injections, but it is generally minimal and brief. Some patients have likened the Botulinum Toxin injection pain unto a “bug bite” or “prick”. Pain from the injection can be reduced by numbing proposed injection sites with a cold pack or anesthetic cream. If you are scared of needles the doctor may offer you Happy Gas.
What to Expect After the Botulinum Toxin TMJ Treatment?
After the Botulinum Toxin TMJ Treatment muscle tenderness will start to disappear almost immediately. Wrinkles begin to disappear within 24 – 48 hours after the injections, and you may continue to see the wrinkles diminish up to one week after the Botox treatment procedure.
There may be mild temporary bruising, numbness, or redness around the injection sites. You will not look 20 years younger, but you may find that you look more natural and relaxed or less sad and angry. A small number of patients treated with Botulinum Toxin injections reported no noticeable difference in the reduction of their wrinkles.
What is the Recovery from Botulinum Toxin Therapy for TMJ Treatment Like?
Because the Botulinum Toxin Treatment procedure is non-surgical and non-invasive, it is highly likely that the patient can return to normal activities immediately. However, to avoid spreading the toxin to other muscles, patients should not rub or massage the area injected with Botulinum Toxin and remain upright for many hours. Physical activity should also be limited for a time.
Risks, Limitations & Possible Complications of Botox Injections for TMJ Treatment
As with any medical procedure there are possible risks and side effects when using Botox for TMJ treatment. Since this is a non-surgical treatment procedure, the risks and possible complications are infrequent, minimal and temporary.
Disclaimer: the information contained on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not be taken as medical advice.