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BOTOX AND TMJ

Dr. Tony Voong

Dr. Tony Voong

General and Cosmetic Dentist

 

Temporamandibular Disorder (TMD)

The acronym TMJ stands for our left and right Temporomandibular (jaw) joints. It is often incorrectly used to describe TMD, which is the disorder of the TMJ that includes many symptoms of head, neck, facial, and jaw pain. These joints sit between the lower jaw bone and each side of the face’s skull, are highly complex and constantly under pressure. Running through the TMJ is the Trigeminal nerve. This nerve is important because it contains three main branches:

Ophthalmic: enervates our upper eyelids, eyebrows, and forehead

Maxillary: enervates our lower eyelids, sinuses, palate, and nasal cavity

Mandibular: enervates the ins and outs of our lower jaw, and controls the muscles of mastication 

The muscles of mastication surround the left and right TMJ. When there is stress or tension in these muscles it puts pressure on the Mandibular branch and can cause instant jaw pain. Discomfort in one branch can refer to the other branches of the Trigeminal nerve and can produce symptoms that could seem completely unrelated to the jaw joint (i.e migraines, pressure under the eyes, tinnitus or ringing of the ear). 

TMJ TREATMENT

When TMD is left untreated these symptoms will indefinitely persist. An experienced TMJ specialist can help treat your TMJ disorder and restore the relationship of your bite and its surrounding muscles, blood vessels, and nerve pressure, and alleviate problematic symptoms and pain. In some cases, new lifestyle changes may need to be implemented as well. Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) with stress contribute and exacerbate TMD symptoms. There are options such as diet change, no gum chewing, use of a nightguard, stress reduction, jaw exercises, and even Botox that can help treat your TMJ.

BOTOX TREATMENT

Botulinum Toxin is commonly understood as Botox. Botox is a versatile prescription injection popularly accompanied by cosmetic treatments such as reducing wrinkles’ appearance. Botox was actually first approved by the FDA as a treatment for chronic migraines. Botox relieves jaw tension by preventing these muscles from engaging in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and facial pain.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?

BOTOX treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw pain is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. As a non-surgical procedure, BOTOX 

injections are personally administered by a health professional in the office. When BOTOX is used, it acts to block nerve signals that usually cause the jaw joints to spasm, and contract painful symptoms are relieved. Once the injections are complete, which is usually a 10-30 minute procedure, the patient will need to sit in an upright position for an hour to ensure the medication remains in the joint while it takes effect. Most patients experience noticeable improvement and relief within two-to-three days following their first treatment. In some patients, it may take up to a week to see the effects.

RISKS AND BENEFITS TO BOTOX

For individuals suffering from jaw soreness and pain resulting from TMJ disorder (TMD), BOTOX treatment often provides beneficial relief. Because it is a non-surgical treatment procedure, the risks and possible complications are infrequent, minimal, and temporary.

BENEFITS

  • Facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort are relieved, lessens and eliminates headaches resulting from teeth grinding
  • Non-surgical procedure administered in the convenience at Coliseum Dental 
  • Injections do not hurt and most patients describe the feeling as no more than a bug bite or slight pinprick.
    • Botox is a safe alternative to traditional treatment for most people who have jaw pain or a TMJ disorder
    • Usually a quick, straightforward, and an effective procedure
    • Relief is also quick. Most patients notice a reduction in muscle soreness within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week. Results last between 3-5 months.
    • Patients can go back to work after treatment 

RISKS

  • The most common reported side-effects of Botox treatment are headaches, respiratory infection, flu-like syndrome, temporary eyelid droop, and nausea. 
    • Less commonly reported effects of Botox are pain, redness at the site of injection, and muscle weakness. These symptoms are thought to be connected with the Botulinum Toxin injection and occur within the first week.
 

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