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Effects of Botox for TMJ Disorders: 4 Helpful Recovery Tips

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Dr. Andreas

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Q.F. Nayibe Cubillos Morales

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Dr. Gustavo Assatourians D.D.S

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In this article, you will learn about the complete guide about botox for TMJ disorders. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jawbone to the skull. TMD can cause various painful symptoms, and its treatment can be complex and diverse. One of the most innovative approaches in recent years has been the use of Botox injections as a therapeutic option.

 

What is Botox?

Botox, also known as botulinum toxin, is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although this toxin is primarily known for its use in cosmetic treatments to reduce facial wrinkles, it has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of various medical conditions, including TMD.

 

What Effects does Botox have on TMJ Disorders?

botox-for-tmj

Treatment with Botox can help treat and alleviate the following symptoms of TMJ disorder:

1. Headaches due to teeth grinding or clenching

2. Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints

3. Pain in the ear area

4. Difficulty chewing

5. Difficulty opening or closing the mouth due to

a. Blockage of the temporomandibular joint

b. Muscle tension

 

How does Botox Work to Treat TMJ Disorders?

Botox acts by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that transmits nerve signals to the muscles. By blocking acetylcholine, Botox reduces muscle activity, which can be beneficial in the treatment of TMD, as many of the symptoms are related to muscle tension in the jaw and surrounding muscles.

 

What to Expect During the Botox for TMJ Disorders Application?

botox-for-tmj

 Here are some details about the Botox application procedure for relieving TMD:  

 The Botox application procedure for TMD treatment is relatively simple and is performed in dental or medical offices.

 It is an outpatient procedure.

 It does not require anesthesia, although a topical anesthetic may be applied for the patient’s comfort.

 The procedure is usually quick, with each treatment session lasting between 10 and 30 minutes.

 At least three injection sessions are usually administered over several months.

 The healthcare provider will identify the injection sites for each patient.

 Generally, Botox is applied in the temple area, forehead muscles, and jaw area, where the chewing muscles are usually inserted.

 The injections are performed with a very fine and short needle.

 Depending on each case, the healthcare provider will decide on the number of injections necessary.

 The injection may cause pain similar to that of a bug bite or a prick, so the doctor may recommend the use of anesthetic creams.

 The procedure does not involve disability. People can usually resume their daily activities when leaving the medical office, as long as they do not involve severe physical exertion that strains the chewing muscles.

 

Are the Results of Botox Treatment for TMD Immediate?

Although it is possible to feel some improvement one or two days after treatment, several days are usually required to feel maximum symptom relief.

 

Recovery and Post-treatment Care for Botox

woman-cold-compress

Recovery after Botox treatment for TMD is generally quick. However, it is important to follow some recommendations to ensure optimal recovery:

• Apply cold compresses to the injection area: This is helpful for relieving pain from injections and reducing inflammation.

• Avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area: Rubbing the injection area could cause the Botox to spread to unwanted areas.

• Avoid excessive sun exposure: Prolonged exposure to the sun can weaken Botox and decrease its effectiveness.

• Avoid intense activities: Intense activities that may increase tension in the jaw and surrounding muscles during the first few days after treatment could have negative effects on the treatment

.

Long-term Results of Botox Treatment for TMJ Disorders

1. It is important to note that Botox injections have a temporary effect that can last for several months. Generally, booster injections are required to maintain long-term results.

2. Results may vary from patient to patient, but many patients typically experience pain relief and reduced muscle tension in the jaw for several months after treatment.

3. The long-term effects of treatment are varied, so it is recommended to follow the personalized treatment plan established by the healthcare professional to obtain the best long-term results.

 

Risks and Side Effects of Botox for TMJ Disorders

The use of Botox for the treatment of TMD, like any other medical procedure, carries some risks and side effects.

Side effects may include:

 Pain, redness, and sensitivity at the injection site.

 Muscle weakness

 Bruising at the injection site

 Headache

 Nausea

 Flu-like symptoms

woman-having-flu-symptoms

These are usually temporary effects that go away on their own after a few days.

Risks may include:  

Less commonly, the application of botox for the treatment of DTM may carry some risks, including:

 Temporary difficulty speaking or eating due to reduced muscle activity in the treated area.

 Possible decrease in bite strength, which can affect the ability to chew food properly.

 Risk of incorrect injection that may result in unwanted effects, such as weakness or facial asymmetry.

It is important to talk to the healthcare professional before treatment to discuss the possible risks and side effects and to follow the post-treatment instructions to minimize the likelihood of their occurrence.

 

What is the Cost of TMD Treatment with Botox?

The treatment may cost between $500 and $1500 per unit, depending on the service provider. The cost of Botox application to treat TMD may vary according to each patient’s needs, the severity of symptoms, and the number of injections required. Similarly, the country or city where the treatment is received also affects its value.

 

Conclusion

 The use of Botox offers an innovative alternative to relieve pain and reduce muscle tension in the jaw and surrounding muscles in patients with TMD.

 Botox treatment should be administered by a properly trained medical or dental professional.

 Each case has different requirements, so the treatment plan for each patient should be personalized.

If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our Facebook page. We look forward to your visit and will provide a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme can guide you toward the best treatment to care for your health.

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References

1. Scaccia, A. (Jun 2, 2017). Botox for TMJ: Cost, side effects, efficacy, and more. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/botox-for-tmj

2. TMJ disorders. (Dic 28, 2018). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/symptoms-causes/syc-20350941

3. Villines, Z. (Oct 11, 2022). Botox for TMJ: Benefits, pictures, side effects, and more. Medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/botox-for-tmj-benefits-before-and-after-pictures-side-effects-and-more

4. Denglehem, C., Maes, J. M., Raoul, G., & Ferri, J. (2012). Toxine botulinique de type A : traitement antalgique des dysfonctions de l’appareil manducateur [Botulinum toxin A: analgesic treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders]. Revue de stomatologie et de chirurgie maxillo-faciale, 113(1), 27–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stomax.2011.12.003

5. BOTOX® treatments for TMJ. (s/f). AAFE – American Academy of Facial Esthetics. Recuperado el 16 de abril de 2023, de https://www.facialesthetics.org/tmj-treatments/

6. Guarda-Nardini, L., Manfredini, D., Salamone, M., Salmaso, L., Tonello, S., & Ferronato, G. (2008). Efficacy of botulinum toxin in treating myofascial pain in bruxers: a controlled placebo pilot study. Cranio : the journal of craniomandibular practice, 26(2), 126–135. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/crn.2008.017

7. Ataran R, Bahramian A, Jamali Z, Pishahang V, Sadeghi Barzegani H, Sarbakhsh P, Yazdani J. (Sep 18, 2017) The Role of Botulinum Toxin A in Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: A Review. J Dent (Shiraz).(3):157-164. PMID: 29034269; PMCID: PMC5634354.

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