21 Aug Botox For TMJ: Treatment & Risks
TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, causes pain and discomfort in more than 3 million Americans every year. While there are exercises you can do to relieve jaw pain, you may opt to try botox for TMJ.
What Is TMJ
The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and allows you to do things such as talk and chew. Those with TMJ experience jaw pain, jaw clicking/popping, lockjaw, and discomfort while eating. TMJ may come and go throughout your lifetime, but others may not be able to get rid of the pain completely, only control it.
TMJ may be caused by jaw or teeth misalignment, teeth grinding, poor posture, stress/anxiety, excessive gum chewing or arthritis. Beyond jaw pain and discomfort, TMJ causes neck tension, headaches, and earaches.
Botox For TMJ Treatment
Botox is a nonsurgical treatment that is fairly quick and easy. The injections usually take around 10-30 minutes and provide immediate relief. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your TMJ, your doctor will most likely inject your forehead, temple, and jaw muscles.
So, how does it work? Botox temporarily weakens your jaw muscles and restrain hyperactivity. For those who habitually clench their jaw without realizing it, botox paralyzes the muscle so it is unable to clench naturally.
One thing to remember is that botox is not permanent. Botox wears off after a few months, so you may need continual treatment if you experience increased jaw pain down the line. It’s also important to note Botox is not FDA approved and is rarely covered by insurance, so your out of pocket cost may be high. Some recommend using botox for TMJ as a last resort after you’ve tried the home remedies, mouth guards and message exercises.
The most common side effects of botox include bruising, redness, nausea, and headaches.