What is Botox:
BOTOX® is a FDA-approved treatment used in adults to temporarily treat moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and forehead. It can also be used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the face and eyes. This cosmetic service relaxes the musculature of the face that cause unwanted lines and wrinkles. Thus, allowing you to look brighter, more rested, and younger. It takes only a few minutes and will leave you with results lasting up to 3-4 months.
BOTOX® can also be used to treat discomfort from TMJ dysfunction and bruxism, which may include migraines, facial pain and muscle fatigue. It is important to understand that Botox injections for TMJ are not a cure-all and it will help with management of TMJ and jaw muscle pain. You must understand the origin of your pain before choosing Botox as the first-line of therapy.
Important facts to know about Botox and TMJ Injections
- Botox is Not a First-Line Treatment for Jaw Muscle Pain – to determine the first line of treatment we must first determine why you have the symptoms in the first place. It may be necessary to modify daytime habits, postures and behavioral tendencies that cause jaw and neck muscle fatigue. You may need to wear an occlusal guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night. Other forms of relief may come from medications, home jaw and neck exercises, breathing exercises, mediation or a change in your diet. If none of these provide relief, muscle injections or dry needling would be next, along with visits to a physical therapist or chiropractor who would help provide muscle comfort. The main point is Botox will not produce desired goals if the underlying reasons for the pain have not been identified and dealt with. You, as a patient, must participate in the process of getting better.
- Botox will not ease certain types of muscle pain – At times, muscles hurt even if they aren’t overused. Emotions or life circumstances can cause your muscle to tighten and ultimately ache, Botox for TMJ will normally not help. A better option would be counseling or cognitive behavior therapy.
- Currently wearing a night guard and still have symptoms in the morning of muscle pain or tightness, joint noises, locking, and/or pain? – you may be a GOOD candidate for Botox. In particular, if you find yourself biting hard on the guard when you wake up in the morning. Botox in conjunction with the continued wear of the night guard will give the best result.
- If you cannot tolerate a night guard (and have tried different types) – Botox injections for TMJ may help to provide relief.
- If your jaw muscles are too big – Botox can predictably reduce muscle bulk when used over time. It has been effective in producing a flatter and more natural-looking profile. This usually requires 3 Botox sessions in 3-month intervals to see the best results. However, if the reasons causing the jaw bulk have not been identified and corrected, the jaw bulk may come back.