Botox for TMJ [8 Benefits You Should Know]

Botox can be used to treat TMJ pain. It works by relaxing muscles around the jaw joint. This helps reduce stress and tension which reduces pain.

October 26, 2023

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. It's also known as "TMJ" or "TMD." This condition affects the jaw joints and muscles. It causes headaches, neck pain, earaches, toothaches, and even facial numbness.

Botox injections are used to treat TMJ. They relax the muscles around the jaw joints and reduce inflammation. Injections are usually done every 6 months. However, many patients find that they work well for longer periods of time.

If you suffer from TMJ, then you should consider having a botox injection. It will help relieve your symptoms and make your life a lot less painful.

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. This procedure involves injecting a toxin into the muscles of the face to relax facial muscles and reduce pain. Botox injections are often used to treat conditions such as migraines, chronic headaches, and muscle spasms.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)?

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) occurs when the temporomandibular joints become inflamed or painful. The TMJs connect the lower jawbone to the skull. They allow us to open our mouths wide enough to eat, speak, yawn, and swallow.

When these joints become inflamed, they cause pain and discomfort. This condition is called TMJ.

TMJ affects millions of Americans each year. It causes headaches, neck stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. Some patients experience severe pain and difficulty chewing food. Others may feel numbness or weakness in their face, mouth, tongue, teeth, jaws, ears, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, or back.

If left untreated, TMJ can lead to serious health problems including arthritis, nerve damage, loss of hearing, and facial deformities.

There are many ways to treat TMJ. Most involve physical therapy, medication, and/or surgery. However, there are some natural remedies that can help ease symptoms. These include acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, nutritional supplements, and yoga.

Acupuncture involves inserting very thin needles at specific points along the body. Acupuncturists believe this treatment helps balance energy flow throughout the body.

Chiropractors use gentle manipulation of the spine to relieve muscle tension and restore proper alignment. Massage therapists apply pressure to certain areas of the body to relax muscles and improve circulation.

Nutritional supplements can be helpful for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraines. Yoga is another effective method for relieving stress and improving overall well-being.

How to treat TMJ

There are several alternative treatments available for TMJ, including physical therapy, medication, surgery, and injections. However, there is no cure for TMJ.

One treatment option is Botulinum toxin injection, Botox. Botulinum toxin is a naturally occurring protein produced by certain bacteria. It works by blocking nerve signals between nerves and muscles. Blocking these signals reduces muscle activity and relaxes tight muscles.

Botulinum toxin is injected directly into the affected areas of the body. It takes effect within 24 hours and lasts up to 6 months.

Botulinum toxins are FDA approved for treating facial wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead creases, and neck wrinkles. They are not approved for use in the eyes, nose, lips, ears, scalp, or eyelids.

Botulinum injections are usually performed by a dentist or physician who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Before receiving a botulinum toxin injection, patients should be evaluated by a doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ.

Botulinum is a safe and effective treatment for TMJ. It helps reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Botox Benefits for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

1. Reduce Pain

Botox injections are used to reduce jaw pain associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, and then masseter muscle. The most common symptoms include jaw clenching, popping noises when chewing, headaches, neck stiffness, earaches, teeth grinding, and difficulty sleeping.

Painful symptoms associated with TMJ disorders can be reduced using botulinum toxin injections. Injections are usually given every 6 weeks. Each treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes.

2. Improve the Function

Botox injections can improve chewing and swallowing functions, meaning that patients can chew food comfortably without experiencing any discomfort. Botox injections can also reduce muscle spasms and relieve jaw joint pain caused by TMJ dysfunction.

This treatment option is especially beneficial for those suffering from chronic headaches, neck and shoulder pain, facial pain, jaw pain, jaw tension, and migraines. Patients can expect to experience relief within days after receiving botox injections.

3. Prevent Muscle Spasm

Muscle spasms cause severe pain and discomfort. They can even lead to permanent disability. Fortunately, botulinum toxin injections can prevent muscle spasms.

When you receive a botulinum injection, you'll experience temporary paralysis of the muscles you injected. This prevents muscle spasms from occurring. The effect lasts anywhere from three months to two years depending on the condition being treated.

According to a study, these injections relax muscles and relieve tension by up to 90%.

4. Treat Headaches

TMJ disorders can lead to headaches. Botulinum toxin injections can treat those headaches.

Botulinum toxin is a naturally occurring protein produced by bacteria. It works by blocking nerve signals that cause muscle contractions. This blocks pain signals sent to the head.

Two types of botulinum toxin injections are available. The first type is called Dysport®. It's injected directly into muscles where it blocks pain signals.

The second type is Botox®, which is injected into the skin. It reduces inflammation and swelling around the injection site.

Both types of botulinum injections can be used to treat headaches caused by TMJ disorders.

5. Restore Appearance

Botulinum toxin treatments restore facial features that were previously distorted due to muscle spasms caused by TMD. The results are dramatic and patients often say they look younger.

However, patients sometimes complain about the appearance of lines and wrinkles after receiving botulinum toxin injections for TMJ disorder.

This happens because of the muscles responsible for frowning contract during treatment. This contraction pulls the skin tight over the underlying structures causing lines and wrinkles.

To prevent this from happening, we recommend that patients apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the area where the injection was given. Petroleum jelly prevents the muscles from contracting and keeps the skin smooth.

We also recommend that patients avoid applying makeup to the treated areas until the effects of the botulinum toxin wear off. Then you will be ready to go back to your normal activities.

NUVO Cosmedispa offers great Botox and several skin treatments. Bianca, the med spa owner, shared with us the above recommendations.

6. Increase Mobility

TMJ is a condition where the jaw joints become stiff and painful. By injecting botulinum toxin into the muscles surrounding the joints, the patient's ability to move their jaw increases dramatically.

When relaxing the muscles, the patient's ability to move is increased. As a result, the patient experiences less pain and stiffness in the joints. Patients report feeling relief after receiving the injection.

7. Decrease Swallowing Problems

Swallowing problems such as difficulty opening the mouth and throat are common among patients suffering from TMJ disorders.

Botulinum toxins decrease swelling and ease the problem.

So, if you suffer from TMJ disorders, talk to your doctor about botulinum toxin injections to alleviate your pain and discomfort.

How much is the treatment?

Botox injections cost anywhere between $800-$1,000 per session. 


How long does Botox last for TMJ?

Botulinum toxin type A (BTXA), commonly known as Botox, can also be used to treat conditions such as TMJ dysfunction. While the effects of Botox wear off within two weeks, the benefits of treatment may continue for up to 6 months. The amount of time depends on the severity of the condition and the number of treatments needed.

Is Botox treatment for TMJ Safe?

While it may seem like a miracle cure for many ailments, Botox injections are not without risks. While the injections only feel like a bug bite, some side effects include temporary paralysis, dry mouth, drooping eyelids, muscle weakness, blurred vision, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms should go away within 24 hours, however, and most patients report feeling much better after only a few days. There are also rare cases of serious complications, including nerve damage, infection, and allergic reactions. Before undergoing any procedure, it’s always best to discuss these risks with your doctor. 

Does Insurance cover Botox treatment for TMJ?

If you're considering Botox treatment for TMJ disorder and/or bruxing, your insurance provider might cover part of the cost.

Can a dentist administer Botox?

Yes! There are many different ways that a dentist can administer Botox injections. Some of these include injecting the jaw muscles to reduce the jaw tension around the jaw joint, injecting the muscles around the eyes, and injecting the muscles around the neck. These injections are safe and painless, and they can last anywhere from six months to two years.

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