The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw (or mandible) to the skull (or temporal bone), and its function is necessary in order for you to properly chew, speak, yawn etc.
A multitude of injuries can afflict the temporomandibular joint, which can cause chronic, sometimes severe pain in the face, neck and head, disrupting sleeping patterns and everyday life. The discomfort that stems from jaw injury is known as Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome or TMJ, and no one is quite sure what allows the symptoms to have such long-term effects.
Various treatment options are available that are said to assist with the pain, including Botox, which is an injectable most commonly used to treat lines and wrinkles in the face, but at Destination Aesthetics, not only do we treat crow’s feet and forehead lines, but we also use Botox to alleviate much of the tension in the jaw when TMJ has been diagnosed.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, commonly referred to as TMD, is a disorder that causes either slight or intense pain in the jaw. The causes of TMJ have not been pinpointed, but many experts believe that stress and trauma relate to the continual discomfort associated with the disorder. TMJ primarily effects the temporomandibular joint, which provides much of flexibility needed to carry out many social functions, such as eating or talking.
When the temporomandibular joint sustains injury, the face can become tender to the touch, and many sufferers report frequent headaches. Since the temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull, the pain is capable of radiating to other parts of the body, including the temples and neck. Other symptoms include trouble opening or closing the mouth, lock jaw or a misaligned bite. Another, more common symptom that coincides with the pain is a clicking or popping sound that occurs whenever the jaw opens or closes.
What Prompts TMJ?
Although TMJ is still much of a mystery, it has been concluded that certain injuries can trigger these disorders. Many individuals who have been in a car accident, for instance, report chronic pain in their jaw, particularly if they obtained whiplash. Other trauma to the face and neck regions can expedite TMJ disorders even after the primary injury has healed.
Stress-related behavior has also been cited as a cause for TMJ. The onset of bruxism (teeth-grinding) and jaw clenching is usually due to anxiety, and occurs mostly during sleep. The constant pressure on the joint can cause continual pain and lead to many of the symptoms associated with TMJ.
TMJ Treatment with Botox
Although still a relatively new treatment option for TMJ, Botox has been shown to improve a variety of medical conditions stemming from muscle overexertion. Disorders that include chronic migraines, uncontrollable blinking, excessive sweating and more have been treated with Botox, making it a natural solution for TMJ as well.
Botox works by temporarily weakening muscles causing medical and cosmetic concerns, providing relief from pain and skin conditions. Although Botox treatment for TMJ has not yet been approved by the FDA, the injections are still highly effective at producing promising results in individuals suffering from TMJ.
Treatment works by strategically administering a series of injections directly into the masseter muscle, which is the muscle primarily exercised while speaking and chewing. It is thought that some TMJ issues stem from the overstimulation of the masseter muscle, and by injecting Botox, the muscle can relax and relieve tension in the jaw.
In order to achieve the full effects of Botox treatment, repeat sessions will be necessary over a matter of a few weeks. After two sessions, many clients feel significant relief from their TMJ disorder, and they may also notice an additional benefit: smoother skin!
Benefits of Using Botox for TMJ
- Injections are minimally invasive
- Sessions are relatively painless
- Muscles are alleviated of tension
- Only specific muscles are treated
- Zero downtime after treatment
- Clenches muscles relax after injections
- Results are also aesthetically pleasing
Botox Treatment at Destination Aesthetics
If you believe that you have TMJ, it is important to receive a professional diagnosis from a dentist before seeking treatment at Destination Aesthetics, and although we work to treat the pain associated with the condition, Botox will not provide a cure for TMJ. It is important that clients also receive treatment that targets the cause of the condition as well as the resulting discomfort. Depending on your individual condition, certain lifestyle changes may be necessary to fully recover from TMJ. Being mindful of the activities that cause TMJ pain, as well as seeking treatment for stress management and bruxism at night may complement the Botox regimen you receive. Talk to your dentist about the best methods you can use to treat TMJ.
If you would like to find out whether Botox can treat your TMJ, we provide complimentary consultations where we assess your jaw and design a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses your individual concerns. We will determine the appropriate amount of units needed as well as the proper injection sites that will relax your jaw and help you regain a good quality of life. For more information about TMJ treatment with Botox or to schedule a consultation with us, give Destination Aesthetics a call.