Around 12 percent of Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Without treatment, this painful disease can result in severe discomfort and even cause tooth decay due to excessive grinding. TMJ disorders cause a range of unpleasant health issues, such as sore jaw muscles, chronic migraines, and lockjaw.
While there’s no way to cure the disorder entirely, BOTOX® injections provide a simple, non-surgical solution for relief from the problems associated with TMJ disorders.
How BOTOX® Treats TMJ
TMJ can be a very painful disorder, resulting in all sorts of aches for those who suffer from it. BOTOX® helps to alleviate various symptoms:
- Sensitive Teeth: TMJ-related grinding can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel, wearing it down and causing sensitivity. BOTOX® injections relax your masseter muscle so that your jaw only contracts when you need it to, saving the enamel on your teeth.
- Jaw Pain: The main symptom TMJ patients experience is recurring jaw discomfort. Because your muscles are now able to relax, the tension in your jaw will dissipate, eliminating the soreness due to clenching.
- Headaches: Excessive grinding can result in frequent headaches. Injections will put an end to TMJ-related teeth grinding and the resulting head pain. If you experience severe migraines, additional BOTOX® injections can be administered to the temples and forehead for further relief.
When treating TMJ pain, BOTOX® is injected into the masseter muscle, resulting in temporary partial paralysis that causes the muscle to relax. The treatment will reduce jaw contractions that lead to involuntary clenching, providing relief for your jaw.
What’s the Process Like?
First, your dentist will have you clench your jaw so that they can pinpoint the exact location of your masseter muscle. Multiple BOTOX® injections will then be placed at the appropriate site, effectively paralyzing the muscle. The partial paralysis reduces excessive contraction in your jaw while still allowing you to perform normal everyday functions such as eating and talking.
The treatment only takes 10-20 minutes to complete and will produce noticeable improvement of symptoms within a week of the injections. Patients may experience slight inflammation or bruising at the injection site, but these side effects will likely discontinue after 24 hours.
How Long Will it Last?
The effects of BOTOX® can last for up to three months before your masseter muscle function returns to normal. Once the results wear off, you will need to visit your dentist for another BOTOX® session for continued relief. With repeated treatment, it is possible that the masseter muscle will decrease in size and permanently resolve the TMJ disorder.
With the use of BOTOX® injections, you can alleviate TMJ pain and prevent the disorder from further damaging your oral health. However, not all dentists are qualified to administer the procedure. It’s important to choose a dentist that is certified and has undergone the proper training to ensure your treatment is effective and safe. Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Buxton today to see if BOTOX® may be right for you.