The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints in the body. Any problem that affects your ability to use this joint is known as a TMJ disorder (TMD). These days, there are many treatments designed to alleviate the numerous and often painful symptoms of TMD.
At Thurston Oaks Dental, we provide cutting-edge, innovative treatments for the TMJ. One of our treatments, which has grown increasingly popular in recent years, involves administering Botox. A Botox injection is a safe and effective way to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with TMD.
How Does Botox Work on the TMJ?
Botox, or Botulinum Toxin, is often used for its anti-aging properties. An injection will temporarily disable the muscles in the face by blocking the nerves responsible for contractions. Targeting these muscles can temporarily eliminate wrinkles.
The same basic concept applies to Botox treatment for the TMJ. Botox can alleviate jaw tension by blocking the nerves that control the muscles of your TMJ. Often, these muscles are being clenched unconsciously, which is one of the leading causes of TMD. Botox can also eliminate headaches caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), and severe cases of lockjaw.
The pain-relieving effects of Botox vary from person to person. One study has shown that Botox can remain effective for up to three months following treatment. It is important to note that Botox treatment may not necessarily address the cause of your TMD. For more long-term relief, we may recommend another treatment, such as physical therapy or habit counseling.
Botox treatment is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure. The entire process can usually be completed within 30 minutes. For sustained results, we may recommend Botox treatment every three months.
During the actual procedure, you should expect several injections. The number and placement of these injections are dictated by the severity of your TMD, and the muscles we want to target. Each injection should feel like a small pinch or sting, but will not result in major discomfort. Alan Snodgrass, DDS practices a very gentle technique to improve your comfort during the procedure.
After Your Botox Treatment
After your Botox procedure, you may experience some minor numbness, redness, or bruising around the injection sites. Within 24 to 48 hours, all or most of your muscle tenderness should start to disappear. The diminishing effects could continue for up to one week after your treatment.
Because the procedure is minimally-invasive, you will be able to return to your day-to-day life immediately. Be sure to avoid touching, rubbing, or massaging your injection sites. This could cause the Botox to spread to unwanted areas. Most patients will not experience any post-operative complications following their treatment.
Botox treatment for your TMJ could improve your overall quality of life. Eliminating some of the painful symptoms associated with TMD can allow you to use your jaw again properly. Talk with Alan Snodgrass, DDS to learn more about your possible treatment options.
Schedule Your Appointment
Find out if you would benefit from Botox treatment for your TMJ. Call (360) 514-9212 to schedule your appointment today!
Monday: 9:00am - 6:00pm Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm Wednesday: 7:00am - 4:00pm Thursday: 7:00am - 1:00pm Friday: By appointment only