While Botulinum Toxin is regularly used to banish crow’s feet, eradicate upper lip wrinkles, and correct brow frown lines, a lesser-known use is Botulinum Toxin for TMJ disorders.
The temporomandibular joint is located at either side of the head where the jawbone and skull meet. It’s used for many common activities such as talking, eating, and swallowing. Sometimes the joint can become displaced or overworked, causing anything from acute to chronic pain. When Botulinum Toxin is injected into the area it relaxes the muscle and relieves jaw tension. As a result, the muscles aren’t able to engage in unconscious jaw movements that cause pain or headaches.
Although the exact cause of TMJ remains unclear, dentists believe that it can be attributed to any number of habits, medical conditions, or lifestyle-related problems including:
• Teeth grinding (known as bruxism)
• Extreme stress causing a tightening of the facial muscles
• Habits such as nail-biting
• Osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or…
• any injury to the head, jaw, or neck
While there are various remedies for TMJ pain including a simple mouthguard you might wear at night, right through to jaw surgery, perhaps one remedy that you might not immediately associate with TMJ pain removal is Botulinum Toxin.
Perhaps the best news for TMJ sufferers is that the process is quick, uncomplicated, and effective! More importantly, it’s a non-surgical process that requires little to no recovery time. From experience, we’ve noticed that the vast majority of patients experience little to no jaw pain after Botulinum Toxin within 1-2 days of their initial treatment, although in some cases, full pain relief can take up to a week. For many people, to experience no pain for the first time in years means that the Botulinum Toxin for TMJ cost is well worth it.
Botulinum Toxin is a temporary muscle relaxant and not a permanent fix. So patients need to be prepared to come back to us for further treatment every 4-6 months, perhaps on a permanent basis. Therefore if you can think of Botulinum Toxin for TMJ as an effective but temporary solution, then you won’t be far off the mark.
While reducing the facial muscles’ ability to engage in problematic grinding, Botulinum Toxin treatment still allows patients to carry out everyday tasks with ease such as talking, chewing, and swallowing. That’s the good news.
However, while Botulinum Toxin treatment for TMJ problems is safe, there are certain intoxicants, medications and medical conditions which may minimise and/or hinder the procedure. For this reason, it’s vital that patients honestly disclose any type of substance use, medications or medical conditions before treatment.
Like any Botulinum Toxin treatments and Botox for TMJ is no exception, patients should always seek out experienced practitioners. We’ve all heard horror stories of Botulinum Toxin injections gone wrong. However as dentists, we like to think that we’re more adept at administering pain-free injections than anyone, so we guarantee that when you come to us to treat your TMJ using Botulinum Toxin, you’re in safe and secure hands.
That said there are possible side effects to Botulinum Toxin treatment and although minor can include temporary headaches and nausea. This is something any patient needs to consider while they weigh up the pros and cons of treating their TMJ using Botulinum Toxin.
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