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Botox for TMJ


Woman holding her hand to her painful jawTemporomandibular joint disorder (known as TMJ or TMD) is a disorder in the joint of the jaw, making chewing, speaking, and even opening the mouth chronically painful.

Placentia Oral Surgery offers Botox as a treatment option for TMJ to help you deal with the pain while we treat the causes of the disorder. Recent studies have shown that patients with TMJ who received Botox injections have seen significant and lasting relief, even when they didn’t respond to more traditional treatment methods.

How does Botox Alleviate TMJ Pain?


The Botox injections used to treat TMJ use botulin toxin type A that is injected into the joint or the affected muscles. Doing this will paralyze the sections that are causing pain. For example, if the TMJ arose from bruxism, then the partial paralysis brought about by the injection will prevent them from grinding their teeth.

Anyone with TMJ will find relief through this method, but patients whose TMJ arises from bruxism or stress-related disorders will see the best results.

Keep in mind that while this treatment alleviates pain very effectively, it doesn’t address the underlying cause of TMJ. Young Jun, DDS, MD, FACS will need to provide an adequate diagnosis and work with you to treat the TMJ for you to get the best results from Botox injections.

Does Botox Treat TMJ Headaches?


TMJ headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMJ, and they usually occur due to tension, strain, and stress in the neck and facial muscles.

A muscle known as the temporalis muscle finds its origin in the temporal bone and circles under your cheekbone, attaching itself to the mandible. When it becomes inflamed and strained it causes pain like that of a tension headache. Treating TMJ headaches is difficult, and many common options are usually ineffective or temporary. Botox, on the other hand, relaxes the temporalis muscle to relieve the strain along with the pain.

Some patients report that Botox in the jaw helps them relax their shoulders. Tension headaches often spread to the shoulders through the muscles on the sides of the neck. However, Botox relieves pain in these areas by interrupting this chain of muscles through paralysis.

Is it Safe to Use Botox for TMJ?


You can greatly improve your quality of life with Botox injections for TMJ. However, it is important that you understand that there are multiple common side effects that you can get from Botox injections, which include:
•  Nausea
•  Fatigue
•  Double vision
•  Flu-like illness
•  Headache
•  Eyelids droop temporarily
•  Respiratory infection
•  Irritated skin
•  Rash at the area of injection

Using Botox for TMJ also comes with a set of risk factors. It’s also worth noting that the dosage used for TMJ is a lot higher than that which is used for other cosmetic procedures. If too much Botox is used too frequently, it can cause permanent paralysis. For these reasons, we err on the side of caution, preferring to use less invasive injections and fewer of them.

In addition, Botox injections for TMJ do not have FDA approval and are thus fall under the category of off-label use. You request these injections at your risk.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (657) 216-1617.

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