21 Mar Using Botox to Treat Your TMJ
If you struggle with TMJ disorder, Botox can be a fantastic alternative treatment for TMJ. It is completely safe and helps with the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ. Many patients are surprised to learn that Botox can alleviate TMJ symptoms. In this blog, you can find out why patients are so thrilled about this innovative treatment option and make an informed decision.
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ, is a group of joints and muscles that allow for motions like chewing, talking, and yawning. However, stress, bruxism( grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth), aggressive chewing, etc., can lead to the tightening of TMJ muscles and severe inflammation. It can get your joints out of place, causing severe pain, a misaligned bite, and debilitating headaches.
Botox as an Effective Treatment for TMJ
Botox, a neurotoxin protein, is primarily used in cosmetic treatments. It’s an aesthetic procedure that helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, crow eyes, and smile lines and provides a rejuvenated look. However, Botox injections do have medical applications and also help with neck spasms, lazy eyes, overactive bladder, and chronic migraines. For TMJ, Botox can be highly effective. It can quickly relieve your headaches, jaw tension, and locked jaw in just a few days, but generally requires multiple treatments, and multiple sessions are needed for long-term comfort.
Your TMJ dentist may recommend Botox if you have overactive jaw muscles and when other treatments might have failed. Temporomandibular Joints connect your lower jaw to the rest of your face. Any interruption with these joints can lead to facial tension, earaches, jaw tenderness, teeth grinding, jaw displacement, and more. Not just that, the effects of TMJ can radiate down to the whole body and upwards into the skull. Botox can relax the tension created around the inflamed TMJ joint and muscles for improved muscular comfort, jaw functionality, and dental well-being.
How Does Botox Work for TMJ?
The process is simple – Botox injections will provide relief by loosening tight jaw muscles The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Each session can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes, and require only a few every 3 months or so.
Your chosen TMJ dentist will request an X-ray or CT scan before beginning the process to ensure you’re an good candidate for the procedure. They will then strategically administer Botox injections into the facial muscles that are causing the pain. Extremely fine needles, along with a topical anesthetic, are used to minimize any pain from the injection. In about a week, you will begin to see a noticeable difference in your symptoms. It is important to refrain from touching or rubbing the injection site for about four hours in order to lessen the chance of Botox migrating from the target muscle. Most people feel the calming effects of the Botox in 1-2 days and maximum effectiveness comes at about 10-14 days.
How Long Does Botox for TMJ Last?
Most Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) injections for TMJ last around three months. The effects vary from one person to another, depending on their metabolism and stress level. After this three month period another round of injections may be necessary. The need for further injections will also be impacted by the use (or lack) of a nightguard. These nightguards need to be properly fitted and optimized for the individual’s condition.
Get Professional Help for TMJ
Botox works best on people who clench their teeth when combined with a anti-clenching nightguard. Clenchers tend to be overwhelmingly female and respond incredibly well to Botox treatment. Grinders, on the other hand, tend to be male and respond poorly to Botox injections. Consequently, it is of paramount importance to be examined by a quality TMJ dentist like Dr. Margaret Mitchell. TMJ issues manifest very differently in most males vs females. Not properly analyzing this situation can lead to misdiagnosis and patients receiving the wrong treatment.
In summary, if you are experiencing TMJ pain, go to a qualified TMJ dentist like Dr. Margaret Mitchell and find out through an exam whether you’re situation is appropriate for Botox treatment. Schedule an appointment at mitchelldentalspa.com and you shall be able to find someone suitable for your needs. Reputed and professional TMJ dentists like Dr. Mitchell can help you experience a better quality of life through better dentistry.
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