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Botox

Botox for TMJ: How Does It Work?

October 13, 2022

Do you experience lockjaw, or jaw pain, or teeth grinding? If so, you might have temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder, also known as TMJ. TMJ is fairly common, affecting an estimated five to 12 percent of the population.

A single cause for TMJ hasn’t been conclusively established. This makes it difficult for TMJ sufferers to get long-lasting treatment for their jaw pain. While not life-threatening, TMJ disorder can impact your quality of life. For this reason, if you are experiencing jaw pain or discomfort, it’s important that you seek treatment.

Botox is an FDA-approved neuromodulator that can be used to treat temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Sisu Clinic is an advanced doctor-led clinic that specializes in non-invasive aesthetic treatments. Our doctors can administer botox for TMJ sufferers to help them achieve jaw pain relief.

Here’s what you need to know about temporomandibular joint dysfunction and how jaw botox can help.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ disorder, is a condition in which the temporomandibular joint is unable to function properly.

Located in your jaw, the temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull. The temporomandibular joint works like the type of hinge you find on doors; it’s responsible for opening and closing your mouth. The temporomandibular joint makes a sliding motion, moving the mandible down and forward. We open and close our mouths constantly to talk and eat, so this joint is vital.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Symptoms

If you have jaw pain, it’s a clear indicator that something could be going wrong with your temporomandibular joint. However, jaw pain isn’t the only symptom of TMJ disorder. Here are some of the most common TMJ symptoms to look for:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide
  • A lower jaw that becomes stuck in an opened or closed position, which is also known as ‘lockjaw’
  • Clicking or popping noises in the temporomandibular joint when opening or closing your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Swelling around the jaw area

What Causes TMJ Dysfunction?

As mentioned, there isn’t a well-established single cause of TMJ disorder. Instead, various things may contribute to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. These include:

  • Jaw clenching and tension
  • Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
  • Arthritis
  • Joint dislocation
  • Trauma to the temporomandibular joint, like from an injury or fall
  • Stress

Some of the more obvious causes of TMJ disorder, like experiencing an injury, are rarely the cause of this condition. Interestingly, it’s more common that your TMJ disorder is caused by stress and tension. When we experience stress, many of us clench our jaws. Overtime, this can lead to the development of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

If you are experiencing jaw pain and are searching for TMJ relief, here are some treatments to help.

Treatments for TMJ

Before you try out any of these TMJ disorder treatments, the first point-of-call is to meet with a doctor or TMJ specialist near you. A medical professional will be able to give you a formal diagnosis to ensure that your TMJ symptoms are not in fact caused by something else. Once you have established dysfunction of your TMJ, you can start treatment.

The treatment for TMJ disorder will often include a variety of different methods, depending on how severe your pain is.

1. Pain relief

For severe TMJ pain or TMJ headaches, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen. Taking this can help to treat TMJ pain as and when it occurs. However, it will not provide long-lasting relief TMJ relief.

2. Avoid jaw overextension

When you eat hard or chewy foods, your jaw works overtime. This can exacerbate TMJ pain and discomfort. Instead, go for softer foods. This doesn’t mean you have to drastically change your diet, it just means avoiding chewing gum, and going for a banana instead of an apple, for example.

3. Apply ice

When you are feeling TMJ pain, you can apply ice. Ice will also help to target the swelling caused by TMJ.

4. Relax your jaw

When we’re stressed, we’re prone to jaw clenching. Make a conscious decision to relax the muscles of your face and unclench your jaw. Remember to do this at multiple times throughout the day to keep your jaw soft.

5. Manage stress

A longer term strategy for TMJ relief is to manage your stress. You can do this by performing yoga, getting a massage, or meditating, to name a few. Stress and physical tension exacerbate TMJ disorder, if not entirely cause it. 

6. Wear an occlusal splint

An occlusal splint is designed to protect your jaw from teeth grinding. It’s essentially a mouth guard that separates the back teeth, only allowing the front teeth to touch the smooth surface. You wear it while you’re sleeping to prevent your TMJ from grinding your teeth together.

7. Botox for TMJ

Did you know that you can use botox for TMJ disorder? Yes! In fact, botox is a vastly underutilized treatment for TMJ pain. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this topic.

Botox as a Treatment for TMJ

Botox is a neuromodulator chemical. It is injected into the skin to temporarily paralyze the movement of the target muscle. The most common and well-known use for botox is to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. But this is just one of its many uses! Botox is highly versatile, with one such use to treat TMJ pain.

Book a free consultation for jaw botox for TMJ disorder now.

How Does Botox for TMJ Work?

The masseter muscle is located in the jaw. It’s the major stabilizer of your temporomandibular joint. When you clench your teeth and jaw down, you can usually feel your masseter muscle contracting. This muscle elevates the mandible, so any dysfunction of the TMJ can also affect the masseters.

So why are the masseter muscles important for TMJ disorder? Joints and muscles work simultaneously with each other for movement. Any dysfunction in one, affects the other. If you are experiencing jaw pain or TMJ symptoms, there is a high likelihood that your masseter muscles are contributing to this.

Muscle overuse from jaw clenching and teeth grinding causes the masseter muscles to become tense. Like any tense muscle in the body, this can restrict movement and lead to discomfort.

So to improve jaw pain and TMJ symptoms, you have to target the masseters. The way to do this is to get masseter botox.

Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, which relaxes it. As a result, the tension, pain, and tightness all alleviates. The jaw can no longer clench as tightly as before, which means teeth grinding and jaw clenching comes to a halt.

How Long Does Botox for TMJ Take to Work?

You may experience TMJ pain relief in a week to 10 days post-treatment. Most patients will see almost all of their symptoms subside within 14 days after receiving treatment. However, the exact time differs from person-to-person depending on how advanced and severe your condition is.

Click here to learn more about botox for teeth grinding.

How Long Does TMJ Botox Last?

The therapeutic results for botox for teeth grinding can last up to six months. After it starts to wear off, you may begin to experience jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms. This indicates that it’s time to come back into Sisu Clinic for a jaw botox appointment.

Key Takeaways

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can be painful and impact your quality of life.
  • It can be caused by a variety of reasons, from stress to facial anatomy.
  • Botox is an FDA-approved treatment with a variety of uses, one such use is botox for TMJ disorder.
  • Botox for teeth grinding and jaw pain is an effective and painless way to treat TMJ disorder and the various symptoms of TMJ disorder.
  • To book a free consultation for TMJ botox near you, click here.

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