Dugas Dental & Carr Orthodontics

DUGAS DENTAL & CARR ORTHODONTICS

Botox for TMJ and Orofacial Pain

Botox has a long history of medically therapeutic uses, all involving muscular conditions. Botox can also bring relief to migraine sufferers and is an FDA-approved treatment for chronic migraine headaches. BOTOX can also be used as a 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. 

To really understand why Botox can be an excellent jaw relaxing therapy, let’s take a moment and talk about your TMJ — otherwise known as your temporomandibular joint. This joint acts as a hinge for your mouth, allowing you to chew and speak.

Unfortunately, the TMJ is also very sensitive to stress — whether it’s physical, emotional, or even psychological stress. When you’re stressed, your muscles tense up and can cause a lot of problems for your mouth and jaw:

  • Sore cheeks and jaw
  • Pain around your neck and ears
  • Clicking noise in your jaw when you open and close your mouth
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism) 
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Neck and/or shoulder pain
  • Shocking type of facial pain

This last point, bruxism, can be an issue even if you’re not suffering from a TMJ disorder. But they often go hand-in-hand.

Botox can help relax the muscles in your jaw

Botox for TMJ can be highly effective. One 2012 study found that Botox treatments significantly decreased pain and increased mouth movements for three months following the treatment. Multiple studies have found that symptoms improved in 90 percent of participants. And there are still many studies being conducted on this treatment even today!

Botox is typically recommended as a complementary treatment to other TMJ therapies, like night guards or physical therapy. But there may be cases where a Botox treatment is all that’s needed to get those muscles to relax.

Once you get those muscles around your TMJ to unclench, you’re going to notice some other changes too.

  • The frequency and intensity of headaches will be reduced or disappear
  • You might feel less anxious
  • You’ll sleep better
  • You’ll be protecting your teeth from the effects of bruxism!
  • Sensitive teeth may become less so

Here’s what you can expect from a TMJ Botox treatment

Have you ever received a Botox injection before? 

Many of our patients haven’t, so we’re very accustomed to answering lots of questions and are happy to do so. Most of the questions we hear are centered around what the procedure involves, so let’s start there.

Here’s what you can expect from a Botox for TMJ treatment:

  • We’ll work together to determine the number of injections you’ll benefit from.
  • You’ll likely receive several injections throughout your facial muscles, like your forehead, temple, and jaw muscles. Most of our patients report very little discomfort from these injections. A cold ice pack after treatment will usually feel good.
  • You can return to your regular daily activities as soon as you leave the office, but avoid rubbing or massaging your face for a few hours.
  • You’ll begin to feel some improvements within a day or two of treatment, but more often it takes several days before you’ll really start to notice a big difference.

That’s it! It’s really quite simple and the treatment will last about 3-4 months.

Are there any risks to Botox for TMJ?

There are a few reported side effects linked to Botox injections that we want all patients to be aware of. However, most of these possible side effects are minor, including:

  • Redness at the injection sites
  • Bruising at the injection site
  • Muscle weakness
  • Discomfort
  • Nausea

We’ll help you understand all the potential risks of Botox and ensure you feel comfortable and confident in your treatment.

General Dentistry