Botox for TMJ
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, acts as a sliding hinge that allows you to move your lower jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. Problems that prevent this hinge from working properly are known as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD. The exact cause of TMD is hard to pinpoint, which is why there is such a wide range of treatment options. At Frank Hsu, D.D.S., we may recommend Botox injections as a solution for the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.
What Is Botox?
Botox, or botulinum toxin, a drug derived from bacterium clostridium botulinum, is well known as a non-invasive cosmetic treatment for facial lines and wrinkles. The active, therapeutic neurotoxin is harvested and purified in a laboratory, which makes it safe and effective for treatment. What many patients may not know is that Botox is not just for cosmetics anymore. It can also be used to combat the painful conditions potentially related to TMJ, such as cervical dystonia and migraines. According to the Journal of International Oral Health (JIOH), Botox has also been successfully used to correct parafunctional clenching and extracapsular myogenic temporomandibular disorder.
How Does Botox Work for TMD?
Dr. Hsu will diagnose you with a TMJ disorder during a consultation appointment. We will then determine an appropriate treatment plan based on your symptoms and medical history. Botox may be an alternative for TMD when other treatments fail to work. In recent years, Botox treatment has sky-rocketed in the dental industry.
If you are experiencing sharp pain and severe tension headaches, we typically recommend Botox injections. Botox injections relieve tension and pain by relaxing the muscles on either side of the jaw. Patients who undergo Botox injections usually see quick, straightforward, and effective results. Most people see improvements within a day or two.
Botox treatment is not a permanent solution. Often, a patient will need ongoing treatment to keep the pain and discomfort at bay. The length of each treatment depends on the number of injections you need. In general, treatment time can range from ten to 30 minutes.
Is Botox Treatment Safe and Effective?
While Botox treatment for TMJ is still considered relatively experimental, studies have shown that is safe and effective. Dr. Hsu and our team of professionals have received the proper training and education required to administer Botox treatment. As with any medical procedure, there are possible risks and side effects when using Botox. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, risks and complications are minimal, temporary, and infrequent. Most patients can return to their normal activities the same day as the procedure. To prevent the Botox from spreading to other muscles, patients should not massage the area. We also recommend limited physical activity.
There may be some mild redness or bruising around the injection sites at first. These side effects should dissipate within a day or two. While you may not look younger, you may notice a more natural and relaxed appearance. Some wrinkles may disappear within 24 to 48 hours after your injections. This is usually considered a beneficial, yet unintentional side-effect of treatment.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are interested in receiving Botox treatment for your TMJ or even mouthguards for TMJ call 650.262.1940 and schedule a consultation today.