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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Botox Treatment

If you are one of the millions who suffer from TMJ, you may wonder if Botox is a good treatment option for you. This blog post will discuss what TMJ is, its symptoms, and how Botox can help with it. We will also discuss the pros and cons and cost of Botox. So, who administers treatment for TMJ? Let’s find out!

What Is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull.

Symptoms

TMJ can cause a wide variety of symptoms:

  • jaw pain
  • clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw
  • difficulty opening your mouth
  • headaches
  • tinnitus
  • pain with eating and chewing

Pain and symptoms can vary as the TMJ is a complicated and sophisticated joint. It has strong nerve innervation and can cause a myriad of symptoms.

Causes for Tight Jaw Muscles

There is no one single cause of TMJ but rather a combination of factors that can lead to the development of the disorder. These include:

  • trauma to the jaw or head
  • dental problems
  • arthritis
  • misalignment of the teeth or jaw
  • stress
  • clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • postural changes related to the neck

Does Botox for TMJ Disorder Work?

The answer is – it depends. Botox can be a successful treatment for TMJ, but it is not a cure-all. If you have mild to moderate TMJ, Botox may help to relieve your pain and improve your ability to open your mouth. However, if you have severe TMJ, Botox is unlikely to provide much relief, and you may benefit from TMJ surgery.

Other TMJ treatments

There are several other treatments for TMJ. Conservative care is the first option and includes exercises and pain management.

Stress Management

Stress is a common cause of TMJ symptoms. Studies show a connection between bruxism and stress and stress management can help to reduce TMJ symptoms. Even simple time management tools have been shown to decrease stress and improve quality of life.

Exercise

Exercise can help strengthen the TMJ muscles and improve the range of motion. Therefore, physical therapy that includes massage and exercise training is very effective.

Diet

Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and pain. A diet rich in green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, and lean meats keeps inflammation low and helps the body handle injuries with less pain.

Supplements

Taking supplements such as omega-three fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

Surgery

Surgery is reserved for cases where other options have failed.

How Can Botox Injections Help with TMJ?

Botox is a neurotoxin that can be used to help with various medical conditions, including TMJ/TMD. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles it is injected into and can help relieve pain and improve function.

Botox can be injected into the muscles that control jaw movement to help reduce clenching and grinding and improve overall comfort. Botox is not a permanent solution, and treatment must be repeated every few months. However, it can provide significant relief for many people suffering from TMJ.

Pros and Cons of Botox for TMJ

There are both pros and cons to using Botox for TMJ. The main pro is that it can provide relief from pain and improve your ability to open your mouth. The main con is that the effects of Botox are not permanent, so you will need repeated treatments to maintain the benefits.

Additionally, Botox is a relatively new treatment for TMJ, so there is not a lot of long-term data available. Therefore, review studies are unclear with efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Discussions with your doctor or dentist will determine whether it will make sense for you.

How Much Does Botox for TMJ Cost?

The cost of Botox for TMJ can vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and the number of treatments you need. Typically, each treatment costs between $200 and $1000.

Who Administers Treatment for TMJ?

Several types of professionals are qualified to provide Botox for TMJ, including oral surgeons, physicians, and dentists with post-doctoral training. These professionals have specific qualifications that make them ideal candidates for administering Botox injections.

For example, oral surgeons have experience with the jaw and face and understand the TMJ joint’s anatomy to make them well-qualified to administer Botox injections in the jaw area. Physicians also have extensive training in human anatomy and physiology and are familiar with the musculoskeletal system.

Dentists with post-doctoral training have specialized knowledge of the teeth and jaw and understand how the TMJ joint works to provide Botox injections for TMJ patients.

When choosing a healthcare professional to administer Botox for TMJ, it is essential to choose someone qualified and experienced. You can ask your family doctor for a referral.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Botox for TMJ Last?

Botox injection is a popular treatment for relieving TMJ pain, but how long does it last? The results of Botox for TMJ can vary from person to person, but most people see an improvement for 3-6 months. After that, the effects of Botox will start to wear off, and you may need to have another treatment.

Some people find that they need to have regular Botox treatments every few months to keep their symptoms under control. If you are considering having Botox for TMJ, talk to your doctor about what you can expect in terms of results and longevity.

Does Botox for TMJ Change Face Shape?

While Botox treatment is generally considered safe, there is some concern that it may change the shape of the face over time.

One theory is that repeated injections in the same area may cause the muscles to weaken, resulting in a change in facial shape. Another possibility is that the botulinum toxin may spread to other muscles, causing them to relax and potentially changing the face’s overall appearance.

Additionally, it’s possible that the toxin could travel to the nerves responsible for facial expression, resulting in a loss of muscle control and a change in facial appearance.

There is no definitive evidence that Botox for TMJ changes face shape. However, knowing the potential risks is essential before undergoing any treatment. If you’re considering Botox for TMJ, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss all of your options.

Do you suffer from TMJ? Have you considered Botox as a treatment option? What other treatments have you tried and with what results? Share your experiences in the comments!

Medical disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor to get specific medical advice for your situation.

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

Dr. Camilla Moore is a Lifestyle Medicine Chiropractor and a freelance medical and health writer. She is a self-published author and you can read her other articles at her blog, The Wellness Cabinet where she writes about exercise, fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.

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6 Comments
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Teresa

Chiropractor over several appointments improved my situation immensely.

Camilla

Hi Karin – The hyperlink under the “Exercise” section actually links to a series of TMJ exercises. Let me know if you have any questions. Camilla

Karin L Bendel

I would be interested if the author would share exercises for TMJ. Thank you,
Karin

Karen French

FYI: Medical Insurance and Medicare will pay for Xoemen. It has the same ingredients as Botox. Botox is considered non-essential but Xoemen is classified as a medical treatment. Plus, the FDA approved Xoemen! My husband had Xoemen treatments through Stanford and did not have to pay for it! It works!

Lisa

I’ve suffered from TMJ for years; I’m 57 and I’ve clenched my jaw when stressed since at least my late teens/early twenties. After I cracked a tooth from the clenching, my dentist suggested a nighttime mouth guard, which has helped tremendously. So has seeing a therapist, and making the decision to change careers. Consistent exercise and good sleep hygiene helps too! We need to take care of ourselves!

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