Botox for TMJ: How Botox Can Help Treat TMJ

It’s estimated that between 5 and 12% of the population has TMJ. Are you included in this statistic?

If so, you know what a painful and problematic dental disorder it can be. And, you’ve probably tried a thing or two to cure your case, already.

Whether you’re sick of taking medications, wearing bite guards, and doing physical therapy; or just haven’t found a treatment that works, there is another option out there. Botox.

Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, the same injectable solution used to reduce the signs of aging can help reduce your jaw pain and inflammation, keep you from clenching, and relieve other symptoms like headaches. 

Read on to learn all about how modern dentists are using Botox for TMJ!

What Is TMJ?

Do you have something strange going on with your jaw? If you’re dealing with a loss of mobility, stiffness, or pain, it might be TMJ. 

Sometimes called TMD, the name TMJ actually refers to a wide variety of dental disorders associated with the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. And, while each case is different, some of the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain and tenderness, popping, or clicking
  • Aches and pains in the face or ear
  • Headaches, migraines, pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Facial swelling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth 
  • Jaw clenching and tooth grinding 

Despite how common the condition is, a conclusive TMJ diagnosis can be hard to reach because its cause often goes unknown. And, sometimes, symptoms can come and go, seemingly without explanation.

If you are experiencing TMJ or TMD symptoms, factors like genetics, arthritis, past injury, and bruxism (grinding your teeth) might be to blame. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll find out what’s directly causing your discomfort.

TMJ treatment plans typically use over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories, dental devices such as bite guards and mouthpieces, and physical therapy to try and deliver relief. In some severe cases, surgery is occasionally used as a last resort.

For most people, TMJ disorder is temporary and will eventually resolve with treatment. However, some cases can become chronic, lasting for months or even years.

How Botox Can Help

To understand how using Botox for TMJ can relieve your symptoms, you first need to understand how Botox works.

Typically used in cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this injectable actually relaxes muscles. While many people think of it as a “filler”, it doesn’t actually fill anything. Instead, it reduces the underlying cause of all those cracks and creases – age-related changes to the muscles that control your face.

In some cases, cosmetic surgeons may also combine it with other injectables to create a more youthful appearance.

So how does that relate to TMJ?

Simply put, when injected in the right places, Botox can help release and relax tight jaw muscles. This, in turn, reduces tension, inflammation, and pain. It can also help with symptoms like grinding, clenching, and headaches, as well as other related conditions like tooth sensitivity.

And, best of all, you don’t have to remember to take a pill, put in a mouthguard, or attend a PT session. Treatment takes just a few minutes, and most patients see results within days. 

That said, Botox alone might not be enough to cure your TMJ. Most dentists combine these injections with other treatments for TMJ to deliver powerful and long-lasting results.

Botox for TMJ Cost Guide

Keeping your teeth healthy and looking good is a life-long investment. It requires regular cleanings, repairs like fillings and crowns, and other common general dentistry procedures.

Botox for TMJ is no different. 

Rather than thinking of its cost as a lump sum, you’ll want to view it as part of your planned dental upkeep.

In most cases, results will last up to 3 months, which is enough time for many patients to shed their symptoms. However, you may need several rounds of injections to see an entirely successful outcome.

While Botox for TMJ costs will vary between providers, it is a generally affordable procedure. If you want to get a better idea of how much your individual procedure will be, meet with your dentist to discuss how many units of Botox you’ll require and how much they charge per unit.

In addition to paying for the Botox itself, you can expect a charge for your office visit. Most dentists will also require an initial consultation, which is associated with a small fee.

In most cases, Botox for TMJ is not covered by insurance. However, if your case has become chronic, there is a small chance that you won’t have to pay entirely out of pocket. 

Botox for TMJ Aftercare 

After your Botox injections, you can return to your regular daily routine as soon as you leave the office. If you experience any soreness or pain, an ice pack will help. 

You should avoid rubbing or massaging your face, especially around your injection sites, for the first few hours. 

While side effects are uncommon, there is a small chance that you’ll experience:

  • Redness, swelling, or bruising around injection sites
  • Mild pain or discomfort
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea or dizziness

In most cases, these feelings resolve themselves within hours or days. And, most patients never experience anything more than mild discomfort. 

Talk to Your Dentist About Botox for TMJ

Now that you know a bit more about how dentists are using Botox for TMJ, you’re ready to take action. And, there’s no time like the present. After all, those troublesome symptoms won’t go away on their own! 

Contact Slone Dental or call or text 859-224-4444 today to learn how our team of experts can help. We offer transformative, compassionate care and value the personal relationships that we build with our clients in Lexington. 

Our total health approach and use of progressive dental technology are guaranteed to make a positive impact on your pearly whites. 

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