Botox as an Alternative Treatment for TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or TMJ), are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Many of the related symptoms, such as headaches and earaches, often lead doctors to diagnose a sinus condition, as opposed to a problem with the jaw joint. TMJ symptoms often change in severity, depending on how much stress the sufferer is experiencing. During an intensely stressful period, grinding teeth, debilitating earaches, and lockjaw may occur.
Botox® injections are sometimes an effective and painless way to alleviate tension in the temporomandibular joint, reducing jaw pain, headaches, and suffering.
Botox is commonly associated with cosmetic practices, including eliminating glabellar lines, gummy smile and facial wrinkles. Recently however, Botox has become an increasingly popular TMJ treatment. Although some TMJ symptoms may improve without any specific treatment, Botox offers fast and long-lasting relief for those that do not.
Here are several of the major benefits Botox offers TMJ sufferers:
- Elimination of headaches caused by nighttime grinding
- Minimization of lockjaw
- Reduced discomfort when using the jaw
- Reduced shoulder and neck pain
- Substantially reduced jaw tension
How does Botox work?
The temporomandibular joint is located on both sides of the head where the skull adjoins the jawbone. This joint is constantly being used for a variety of daily activities, such as chewing, biting, speaking, and swallowing. The most prominent causes of TMJ are jaw displacement and stress-related involuntary jaw movements. Botox expediently alleviates temporomandibular tension by relaxing the jaw muscles, thus preventing unconscious jaw movement and ending grinding-related headaches.
One of the major advantages of Botox is that normal functions such as speaking, swallowing, and biting are left unaffected. The only major change is the reduction in pain and discomfort. In addition, controlling TMJ can also prevent serious dental problems from occurring later. TMJ, if left untreated, can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and the loosening of teeth.
What’s involved when getting Botox injections?
Prior to administering Botox injections, the dentist needs to check the patient’s suitability for treatment. When used in conjunction with certain medications and substances, Botox may not produce the desired results. It is exceptionally important therefore, to be honest about prior medical history. Botox is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.