BOTOX®, while most commonly known for its use in cosmetic surgery application is also a viable alternative treatment for TMJ disorder or inflammation. When it is injected into the muscles surrounding the mandible that are inflamed or sore it gives pain relief to many of our patients. TMJ can cause many problems such as grinding of the teeth, headaches and in some extreme cases, lock jaw. When receiving BOTOX® treatment at Uptown Cosmetic Dentistry, these injections often eliminate these painful symptoms and even minimize lock jaw in some cases. Despite BOTOX® as a treatment for TMJ being experimental at this time, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests it is a very effective method of treatment.

How Does BOTOX®  Relieve TMJ Pain and Jaw Tension?

The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is on both sides of the head where the jawbone connects to your skull. It is one of the most often used joints given its importance to everyday activities. When the joint becomes stressed or even displaced by overworking it, or some type of accident or condition; it causes extreme pain. This pain manifests in many different ways such as tension headaches, acute pain in the jawbone and lock jaw in some cases. BOTOX® corrects or lessens this problem by effectively disabling the muscles from the unconscious movements such as teeth grinding that often produce the pain associated with TMJ disorders.

This type of BOTOX® TMJ treatment is fairly brief, concise and extremely effective. Since BOTOX® treatment is a non-surgical procedure, the injections  are given here at our state of the art facilities and require no hospitalization. Most of our patients will see a significant improvement within one to two days of their first injection; it should be noted however that in some cases it can take up to a week.

Areas Impacted By TMJ BOTOX® TMJ Therapy

The precision application of BOTOX® treatment for TMJ is what makes it such a viable option. Only the temporalis, masseter and frontalis will be affected as the injections will only be in those areas. The rest of your body is not subject to the effects of the BOTOX® injections. Additional areas can be treated acutely depending on the magnitude of your headaches.

How Long Does Uptown BOTOX® TMJ Therapy Take?

Treatment procedures vary in length depending on how many injections are needed as determined by your condition. Typical treatment sessions are done within 30 minutes for most patients.

Does BOTOX® Treatment For TMJ Hurt?

There is a minor pain or discomfort with this treatment as a result of it being administered by injection. It is often very minimal and quickly dissipates. Many of our patients have compared it to pricking your finger or a small bug bite. Topical numbing agents and cold packs are available to numb the injection site thereby reducing or eliminating the pain. For those with a phobia of needles, we always offer Nitrous gas as a method to relax patient’s anxiety.

What Should I Expect After My BOTOX® TMJ Treatment?

Once you receive the injections your muscle pain and tenderness will begin to go away within minutes. Wrinkles will begin to reduce or disappear within 1 to 2 days later.

On the other side of that, you may experience mild temporary bruising of the injection sites or numbness as and redness as well. BOTOX® treatment is a very realistic option to improve your situation but will not make you look 10 years younger; however, you will find that your face seems more natural and relaxed and less angry or melancholy. As with all treatments, there are a small number of patients that don’t notice a significant reduction in their wrinkles, so each case will be different.

How Long Is The Recovery Time For BOTOX® TMJ Treatment?

Since the procedure is non-surgical and non-invasive, most patients can engage in their normal activities immediately. However, to prevent spreading the BOTOX® to other muscles near the injection site, you should not rub or massage the area and try to remain upright for several hours post injection. It is also recommended that strenuous physical activity is limited for at least three to four days after the treatment.

What Are The Risks, Limitations & Potential Complications Associated with BOTOX®  TMJ Treatment?

With any medical procedure, there is a potential for side effects and other risks. This treatment is no different but because it is non-surgical the risks or possible side effects & complications are very infrequent, minimal and very temporary in nature.

The most often recorded side effects of the BOTOX®  treatment are minor headaches, respiratory infection, flu-like symptoms, temporary eyelid droop, and in some cases, nausea. Some more rare effects are pain, redness and muscle weakness near the injection point. Typically if a patient is going to have any adverse effects they happen within one week after the injection.

There is also a possibility for bruising at the point of injection which is temporary and not very painful. BOTOX® effectiveness is limited if injected in the lips and is less effective in treating TMJ. The lips are more important to daily activities and an injection would cause more inconvenient effects than it would do good. Talking and eating could be very difficult, among other things so it is not recommended as an injection spot. Your body can also produce antibodies to attack the BOTOX® which would make the treatments gradually ineffective over time. To counter this, it is suggested to use the lowest dose possible over long intervals of time. You should also avoid getting BOTOX® while pregnant or lactating.