Specialists have been researching a new method of relieving TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) through the use of Botox. Though the method is currently under extensive review, it appears it may be a a viable answer to those seeking treatment to better alleviate TMJ pain.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Those suffering from the disorder experience symptoms such as:
- Difficulty and discomfort chewing or biting
- Jaw pain
- Neck and shoulder pain and even hearing loss
Such symptoms can make it difficult to eat, yawn or talk, as any type of jaw movement increases pain.
When someone suffers from TMJ, the joint connecting the mandible to the skull is typically inflamed, with the site of the inflammation located immediately in front of the ear on either side of the head. The causes for such inflammation often stem from overuse of and extra strain on the muscles of the head and neck. This might happen because the patient is stressed and unconsciously clenches facial muscles, jaw and teeth. Chronic teeth grinding might also cause TMJ.
Treatment for TMJ Discomfort
Because the causes of TMJ are often traced back to facial, shoulder and neck muscle strain, some have found that Botox
is an excellent pain reliever for the disorder.
Few realize that Botox is actually a brand name developed from Botulinum toxin, which is a protein produced from a bacterium. This protein causes muscle paralysis for the particular area it is injected to, which is why Botox also has its cosmetic use to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and prevent them from getting deeper. Botox actually reduces the movement of the muscle where it is injected.
When used for TMJ, the Botox muscle-paralyzing attributes help relax the affected muscles if the cause is teeth grinding or muscle strain and clenching. It is known to alleviate headaches related to this tension and has even been known to minimize the effects of lock jaw—a symptom often associated with TMJ.
The intended effects of Botox are only temporary and wear off between three and six months after injection. Just as it does when used for cosmetic reasons, if used for TMJ, it will act as a temporary solution and not solve problem but rather relieve it as long as a patient receives regular injections. It often takes a bit of time to identify the exact cause of TMJ, and Botox can be the answer to alleviating the pain while those reasons are identified.
Where Can You Receive Botox TMJ Treatment?
Botox administration for TMJ is given in a doctor’s office and does not require anaesthesia or a hospital visit. This can be administered by your plastic surgeon, dentist or any other qualified Botox administering doctor. Some consider dentists to be a preferred solution for treating TMJ as they specialize in the jaw and mouth. They can help identify the causes of TMJ to help eliminate the causes of the disorder. However, in the mean time, Botox has been known to be an excellent option for TMJ pain relief until the exact causes and treatments are determined.
Alleviating the pains of TMJ with Botox appears to be a safe option. Though, other medications and substances can negatively impact the effectiveness of Botox. Because of this, it is important to disclose all medications and substances you currently use or have recently used before treatment from your physician.