One of the more modern, non-surgical treatments used for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders is BOTOX® injections. They are often used when other treatments have not worked or when you don’t want an invasive treatment such as jaw surgery.
Typical TMJ treatments may include taking pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. Oral splints and mouth guards, acupuncture, and physical and relaxation therapy can also help.
Surgical treatment might involve:
– Repairing or replacing the damaged joint
– Using a scope and tiny instruments to fix TMJ disorders
– Removing debris and inflammatory byproducts in the jaw
– Treating the mandible for pain and lockjaw
When injected into the facial muscles, BOTOX has been found to relieve jaw tension and pain, headaches from grinding your teeth (bruxism), and lessening lockjaw arising from high-stress levels.
These joints are located on both sides of your head where your jawbone meets your skull. They help you speak, chew and swallow during your day-to-day activities. When these joints work too hard or become displaced from grinding your teeth as a result of stress, you may feel sharp jaw pain accompanied by debilitating headaches.
How BOTOX Injections Work
The BOTOX injections are administered in our office by our doctor as an outpatient treatment. The injections are usually placed in the temporalis (forehead), frontalis (temple) and masseter (jaw) muscles to give you pain relief from the tension in the jaw. Depending on your needs, they may also be injected into other sites. The BOTOX will prevent the muscles from clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth.
If you are wondering what the injections feel like, it has commonly been referred to as feeling a pinprick or mosquito bite. You might also see some bruising, redness or numbness at the injection site. Any tenderness can be relieved by applying a cold pack or numbing cream. The treatment can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, with muscle tenderness often diminishing right away and continual improvements and pain relief within the week. You can typically resume your normal daily activities post-treatment.
Diagnosing TMJ disorders can be done by examining the jaw and listening when you open and close your mouth to see if you can hear clicking or popping noises. We will review your jaw’s range of motion to see if it is limited or locks. Pressing on parts of your jaw can help detect areas of discomfort or pain.
Dental X-rays help us look at hidden areas of your teeth and jaw, while CT scans can show us the underlying bones in the joints. An MRI can help us see problems involving the disc of the jaw joint.
There are a variety of treatments for relieving TMJ and jaw pain with BOTOX being just one of them. BOTOX is particularly effective in treating headaches associated with jaw discomfort. If you are tired of living with pain and want help, we invite you to reach out and give our experienced team a call today!